"More than one million children from over half a million families will benefit from Child Benefit increases which come into effect from this week, Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs said today.
"Child Benefit is being increased by €6 a month for the first and second child and by €8 a month for the third and each subsequent child. This will result in Child Benefit of €131.60 a month for each of the first two children and €165.30 for the third and subsequent children. Child Benefit payments have now increased more than three fold from the 1997 payment of €38.10," Minister Coughlan added.
"In this year, the tenth anniversary of the United Nations International Year of the Family, families still remain the basic units in our society forming a crucial social safety net for improving the well being of individual family members and promoting social cohesion more widely," Minister Coughlan added.
Families who are paid by electronic methods will receive the increased payment on Tuesday. Families who are paid by book payment will get the increase for April and May in a voucher to be picked up at their local post office on the first Tuesday in May. Renewal books being issued in June will include the increase.
The waiting time for the payment of Child Benefit is being dramatically reduced from months to hours in a major redesign and modernisation of the social welfare payment system. Previously the manual payment process could take up to 8 weeks to complete. Child benefit payment will now issue automatically for a second or subsequent child.
Noting that the new on-line birth registration is now operational in three Health Boards and the roll-out continues, Minister Coughlan said: "The re-design of the Child Benefit system and the integration of services clearly brings benefits for the customer and staff alike."
ENDS April 6th 2004
Child Benefit Monthly Payment
|Number of Children
||Present Rate €
||New Rate €