If you are taking care of an orphan you may get a guardian's payment. It is
not necessary to be a legally appointed guardian. A guardian's payment may be
paid to you if the orphan lives with you and you are responsible for his or her
care. The payment must benefit the orphan.
If an orphan is attending a full-time education course, is aged between 18
and 22 years of age and is not living with or in the care of a guardian, the
payment can be paid directly to the orphan.
The payment can be contributory (based on PRSI payments paid by the parent)
or non-contributory (based on a means-test).
You can claim only one of the following:
- Guardian's Payment (Contributory) previously called Orphan's
- Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory) previously called Orphan's
- Guardian's/Orphan's Pension awarded under the Occupational Injuries
You cannot get a guardian's payment and a Foster
Care Allowance together.
Taxation of guardian's payments
Guardian's payments, which are payments made for the benefit of an orphan,
However a guardian's payment is regarded as the beneficial property of the
orphan and is therefore assessable against their income (if any),
not against the income of the person getting the guardian's payment.
A child is regarded as an orphan if:
- They are under 18 (or 22 if in full-time education)
- Both parents are dead, or
- One parent is either dead or unknown or has abandoned and failed to
provide for the child, and
- The other parent is unknown or has abandoned and failed to provide for
Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
If either parent or step-parent had worked at any time and paid PRSI for 26
weeks, the orphan is entitled to the Guardian's Payment (Contributory). This
may be paid for an orphan living in the State or abroad and is not means
tested. Payment is made to the orphan's guardian up to the child's 18th
birthday or 22nd birthday if they are in full-time education.
Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
This is a non-contributory payment for orphans who are not entitled to the
contributory payment. The means test for this is based on the orphan's means.
Payment is made to their guardian up to the orphan's 18th birthday or 22nd
birthday if they are in full-time education.
Since 1 May 2004 you must be 'habitually resident' in Ireland to qualify for
Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory). Find out more about habitual
From 5 May 2005 EU
citizens who are employed or self-employed in Ireland will satisfy the
habitual residence criteria to qualify for Guardian's Payment
(Non-Contributory) under EU Regulations.
Guardian's/Orphan's Pension awarded under the Occupational Injuries Benefit
Under the Occupational
Injuries Benefit Scheme, a slightly higher guardian's/orphan's pension may
be payable if the parent, step-parent or person who was supporting the orphaned
child or children:
- Died as a result of an accident at work
- Died as a result of an occupational disease
- Was getting Disablement Pension assessed at 50% or more at the time of
This Benefit is not means tested and there are no specific PRSI requirements
(as long as at least one week of PRSI has been paid).
In 2015, the Guardian's Payment (Contributory) is paid at a standard rate of
€161 per week and the maximum Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory) is €161
Whether or not you get the maximum Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
will depend on the means
test (this is carried out on the orphan's means - if any). If the orphan
has means from work the first €7.60 is not assessed but if the weekly means
are more than €7.60 the Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory) is reduced by
€2.50 for each €2.50 assessed.
The Guardian's/Orphan's Pension payable under the Occupation
Injuries Benefit Scheme is €164.80 in 2015.
How to apply
Guardian's Payment (Contributory) and Guardian's Payment
To apply, fill in Form GP1 (pdf). You
can also get an application form at every Post Office.
Where to apply
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services
Opening Hours:This office does not offer a service to personal callers. All queries must be made using the online enquiry form, by telephone or in writing.
Tel:(071) 915 7100
Locall:1890 500 000
You can email the guardian's payment section using the secure enquiry
form. If you wish to talk to someone face-to-face about your entitlements,
you can visit your local Citizens Information centre, social welfare local
office or Intreo centre.