Family Income Supplement – a weekly tax-free top-up payment from the Department of Social Protection available to employees on low pay with children


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Family Income Supplement – a weekly tax-free top-up payment from the Department of Social Protection available to employees on low pay with children

Minister Burton urges low-paid workers with children to apply: "70% of first-time applicants for FIS qualify for a payment."

Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly tax-free top-up payment from the Department of Social Protection to employees on low pay with children. Over 44,000 working families with almost 100,000 children are currently benefitting from the scheme.

Speaking about FIS, Minister Burton said: "My Department spent an estimated €230 million on FIS in 2013 and I have allocated over €280 million to the FIS scheme in 2014. FIS is a crucial support for many working families. 70% of first-time applicants for FIS qualify for a payment ranging between €20 and €680 a week with an average payment of €113 per week. Even if a person only qualifies for a small FIS payment, they will still get a minimum of €20 a week - or over €1,000 a year - and this is paid directly into the person’s bank account."

Once the level of payment is determined, it will generally continue to be paid at that rate for a year, provided that the person remains in full-time employment. This gives people who are getting FIS certainty that they will receive a guaranteed level of income support for a full 12 months. This certainty provides a real incentive to workers with families to avail of employment opportunities.

Application forms for FIS are available at www.welfare.ie or from local Intreo Centres across the country. Completed applications should be accompanied by the person’s latest P60 form, 1 recent payslip, and a copy of their Certificate of Tax Credits for the current tax year.  

The Minister continued: "The FIS top-up payment is tax-free and it’s one of a number of supports from my Department for families on low pay. People getting FIS may also be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance from my Department. In addition, income from FIS is not taken into account in the assessment for a medical card.

"These are significant supports for families who have been offered employment and are concerned about the loss of additional welfare benefits should a work offer be taken up. All the evidence shows that families are better off in work and FIS helps them to continue in work and build towards financial independence."


Note for Editors:

 

1. What is FIS

FIS is a tax-free weekly payment for employees:

  • Working 19 or more hours per week (or 38 or more hours per fortnight). Applicants can combine the weekly hours worked with their spouse, civil partner, cohabitant's hours to meet this condition. Time spent in self-employment (or on Community Employment, Tús or the Rural Social Scheme) cannot be used to meet this condition.
  • Where the employment is likely to last at least 3 months
  • Looking after a family with one or more children and
  • Earning less than a set amount which varies according to family size. These income limits are as follows:

Size of family

Income limits

1 child

€506

2 children

€602

3 children

€703

4 children

€824

5 children

€950

6 children

€1,066

7 children

€1,202

8 children or more

€1,298

The amount of FIS payable is 60% of the difference between your average weekly family income and the income limit which applies to your family.

 

2. When and how to apply?

  • You should apply for FIS as soon as possible after you start work.
  • You should complete application form FIS 1 (available on www.welfare.ie or at any local Intreo Centre) and submit the following documents with it, if available:
  • your most recent payslip to show your income and hours of employment
  • your latest P60 (if you have one) and
  • your Certificate of Tax Credits for the current year (if you have one).
  • Even if you do not have these documents when you fill in the application form, you should send the form straight away to: Family Income Supplement Section, Social Welfare Services, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford.

 

3. What counts as family income?

The main items counted as income are:

  • your average assessable earnings from employment,
  • your spouse’s or partner’s average assessable earnings
  • any extra income you or your spouse or partner have from employment (such as, pay for overtime, bonuses, allowances or commission),
  • any income you or your spouse or partner may have from self-employment,
  • income from occupational pensions, land or rental income from property,
  • any income a former spouse or partner contributes to the household, for example maintenance, mortgage/rent payment, school fees etc.
  • any other income you or your spouse/partner may have, including income from maintenance and payments from this department or from the HSE other than the following:
  • Child Benefit,
  • Guardian’s Payment,
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance,
  • Rent Allowance for tenants affected by the de-control of rents,
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance and
  • Foster Child Allowance.

How much can I get?
Your FIS payment is 60% of the difference between your average weekly family income and the income limit for your family size, rounded up to the nearest euro. The minimum payment for people who qualify for FIS is €20 per week.

Example 1:

Single Parent, 3 Children, working 20 hours per week


Gross taxable earnings 2011

€13,250.00

Total tax deducted

€0.00

Employee PRSI

€0.00

Total USC

€325.42

Net assessable earnings

€12,924.58

Number of weeks worked

53

Average weekly earnings

€243.86

One Parent Family Payment

€149.90

Total weekly family income

€393.76

Income limit (3 Children)

€703.00

Difference between income limit and earnings

€309.24

FIS Payable (60% of difference rounded)

€186.00

 

Example 2:

Cohabiting couple, 3 children, one working 40 hours per week, spouse or partner on a Social Welfare payment


Gross taxable earnings 2011

€30,261.40

Total tax deducted

€3,783.83

Employee PRSI

€231.33

Total USC

€364.50

Net assessable earnings

€25,881.74

Number of weeks worked

53

Average weekly earnings

€488.33

Spouse on Illness Benefit

€188.00

Total weekly family income

€676.33

Income limit (3 Children)

€703.00

Difference between income limit and earnings

€26.67

FIS Payable (60% of difference rounded)

€20.00

 

Example 3:

Single Parent, 1 child, recently commenced working 25 hours per week


Gross taxable earnings to date

€360.00

Total tax deducted

€0.00

Employee PRSI

€14.40

Total USC

€10.54

Net assessable earnings

€335.06

Number of weeks worked

1

Average weekly earnings

€335.06

Other Income

€0.00

Total family income

€335.06

Income limit (1 Child)

€506.00

Difference between income limit and earnings

€170.94

FIS Payable (60% of difference rounded)

€103.00

 

Example 4:
Married parent, 4 children working 41 hours per week

Gross taxable earnings 2012

€45,876.00

Total tax deducted

€8,621.50

Employee PRSI

€439.75

Total USC

€2,833.68

Net assessable earnings

€33,981.07

Number of weeks worked

52

Average weekly earnings

€653.48

Other Income

€0.00

Total family income

€653.48

Income limit (4 Children)

€824.00

Difference between income limit and earnings

€170.52

FIS Payable (60% of difference rounded )

€103.00

Last modified:12/05/2014
 

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