Almost 1.3 million people to receive Budget 2018 increases in social welfare payments

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Increases across all schemes this week

Sunday, 25th March, 2018:

Commencing this week, social welfare customers will begin to receive an increase in their weekly welfare payments, provided for in Budget 2018 with all increases being in place by Friday, 30th March.  In total, some 1.3 million social welfare recipients and a further 560,000 dependants will benefit from the increases.  The increases build on last year’s Budget measures – the first increases in eight years that were provided by the Government for many social welfare recipients.

There will be €5 increase in the maximum rate of all weekly payments for pensioners, lone parents, jobseekers, carers, people with disabilities, widows, and people on employment programmes. Younger jobseekers aged 26 or younger who are on reduced rates, most of whom are living with their families, will receive the full €5 increase.

Customers receiving reduced rate payments each week and dependent adults will receive proportionate increases.  A €2 increase for each qualified dependent child will be made in all weekly payments – the first such increase since 2010.  

Also this week, the weekly income thresholds for the Working Family Payment will increase by €10 per week for families with up to three children.  This is designed to increase the take-home pay of Working Family Payment recipients and help more working families qualify for this important income support. The income disregard for One-Parent Family Payment and Jobseeker’s Transition recipients will increase, by €20 to €130 per week, again to help improve incomes for working lone-parents and those moving from unemployment to employment.

Minister Doherty said: "I am pleased to deliver on the commitments we made in last year’s Budget, and make increased payments to 1.3 million people across the country. This extra money will go to the families who need it most – every week.

"One of my main priorities as Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection is to reduce child poverty. My ambition is that no child in Ireland should live in consistent poverty. Under Budget 2018, the qualified child payment, which is paid each week to families with children, will increase from €29.80 to €31.80 for each child. This increase of 6.7% is the first increase to this payment in eight years, and will directly benefit over 400,000 children.  

"The increases in the basic rate for pension payments in Budget 2017 and Budget 2018 is 4.3%. The basic rate increase for most other welfare payments over the two-year period is 5.3%. These increases exceed the Programme for Government commitment to increase rates of payment for pensioners in line with the rate of inflation and also demonstrate a real commitment to improving the standard of living for those who rely on social welfare."

The Department also operates a number of non-statutory schemes, mostly in relation to employment and education supports.  The weekly rate increases for these schemes will also apply over the course of the week commencing Monday, 26th March.


Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection  

Contact Details
T: 01 704 3082
Twitter: @welfare_ie

Note for Editors
Details on dates that the increases will take effect follow.

Effective Dates

Increases in Weekly Rates – Budget 2018

Payment Type



21st March 2018

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Farm Assist

Pre-Retirement Allowance



22nd March 2018

Jobseeker’s Benefit



26th March 2018

Illness Benefit

Injury Benefit

Maternity/Adoptive Benefit

Paternity Benefit

Health and Safety Benefit

Supplementary Welfare Allowance



28th March 2018

Disability Allowance



29th March 2018

Invalidity Pension

Deserted Wife's Benefit

Deserted Wife's Allowance

One Parent Family Payment (Other than a Widow/er)

Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment

Carer's Allowance

Carer's Benefit

Working Family Payment (previously Family Income Supplement)



30th March 2018

Disablement Pension

Disablement Gratuity
Incapacity Supplement

Death Benefit Pension (under the OIB scheme)

State Pension (Contributory)

Widow/er's (Contributory) Pension

Guardian’s Payment (Contributory)

State Pension (Non-Contributory)

Blind Person's Pension

Widow/er's (Non-Contributory) Pension

One-Parent-Family-Payment (in the case of a Widow/er)

Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory)

Please note: Employment Programmes will receive the increase from the same date as their underlying primary payment.

Last modified:25/03/2018