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Your Guide To Child Benefit

Child Benefitpreviously known as Children's Allowance, is payable to the parents or guardians of children under 16 years of age, or under 18 years of age if the child is in full-time education, FÁS Youthreach Training or has a disability.

How do I apply?

You need to apply for Child Benefit within 12 months of:

  • The birth of your baby
  • The month the child became a member of your family
  • The month the family came to live in Ireland

Birth of your baby

If your baby is born in Ireland, when you register the birth of your baby, the Department of Social Protection will begin a Child Benefit claim for your child.

If you are not already claiming Child Benefit for another child, a new claim is created by the Department and a partially completed claim form is sent to you for your signature and payment details. This form also includes information on how to claim for your new baby online. (Please note that you can only claim online if you are invited to do so by the Department.) The baby is also given a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number. If you are already claiming Child Benefit for another child, your new baby is added to your Child Benefit claim and payment begins automatically from the month after the birth. A letter confirming payment will be sent to you by the Department. The baby is also given a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number.

Multiple births

If you had a multiple birth you will be entitled to a special grant at the time of birth and again when the children are 4 and 12 years old. Child Benefit is paid at one and a half times the appropriate monthly rate for twins, and at double the appropriate monthly rate for triplets and other multiple births.

Children aged 16 and 17

If you want to keep your Child Benefit for a disabled child or a child in full-time education or a child on a full-time Youthreach course aged under 18, you will need to fill in the right form one month before your child's 16th birthday. This form must also be signed and offically stamped by:

  • The school/college if your child is in full-time education
  • FÁS, if your child is on a full-time Youthreach course
  • A doctor if your child has a disability

If your child is aged 16 or 17 and you are getting Child Benefit for him or her, you must notify the Department of Social Protection immediately if:

  • Your child leaves school/college/FÁS YOUTHREACH course before the certified date or
  • Your child is able to support himself/herself before reaching age 18 or the date certified by the doctor.

If your child is 16 or 17 years of age and in full-time education, you will get Child Benefit until June. You will not get another payment until your child returns to full-time education in September. The Child Benefit section will send you an application form in August. If your child returns to full-time education in September, fill in and return this application form. When you get your payment it will include any arrears due to you, including Child Benefit for July and August.

Child Benefit and EU regulations

EU/EEA citizens and Swiss nationals working in Ireland satisfy the habitual residence condition for Child Benefit. This is also the case if the worker becomes unemployed and gets a jobseeker's payment. EU/EEA citizens and Swiss national covered by EU Regulations are required to certify every four months that they continue to work in this State.

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Non-EU/EEA citizens must be habitually resident in Ireland to quality for Child Benefit. If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen and legally working in this State, you may qualify for Child Benefit if your child is also resident here. Non-EU/EEA citizens are also required to certify every four months that they and their children continue to live in this State.

Fraudulent claims

Penalties for false or misleading statements made to obtain Child Benefit for you or for any other person, may result in large fines or prison for up to three years.

For more information

Child Benefit Section Department of Social Protection Social Welfare Services Office St Oliver Plunkett Road Letterkenny Donegal, Ireland Tel: (074) 916 4400, Locall: 1890 400 400

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