Child Benefit (previously 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, Youthreach training or has a disability. Child Benefit is not paid on behalf of 18-year olds.
For twins, Child Benefit is paid at one and a half times the normal monthly rate for each child. For triplets and other multiple births, Child Benefit is paid at double the normal monthly rate for each child.
Some Child Benefit customers are currently being registered for a Public Services Card by the Department of Social Protection.
It was announced in Budget 2015 that the rate of Child Benefit will increase by €5 to €135 per month for each child from January 2015.
You need to apply for Child Benefit within 12 months of:
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 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 (see 'How to apply' below) one month before your child's 16th birthday. This form must also be signed and offically stamped by:
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:
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. If your child turns 18 during the summer you will get any arrears due up until the month they turn 18 – provided they return to education in September.
If you don't get a form in the post from the Child Benefit section, fill in form CB2 in September - see 'How to apply' below.
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 Jobseeker's Benefit.
If you are an EU/EEA citizen or a Swiss national and work in a country covered by EU Regulations, the country you work in usually pays Child Benefit even if your family is living in another country. However, if your children are living in another EU/EEA country you should still apply for any Family Benefits you are entitled to there.
You can find out more about Family Benefits and EU Regulations in Part 9 of the EU Guidelines on the Department of Social Protection's website. You can also contact the Child Benefit Section for more information on how EU rules affect Child Benefit - see 'Where to apply' below.
Countries covered by EU Regulations are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (excluding the Channel Islands).
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. More information is available in our document on habitual residence.
EU/EEA citizens and Swiss national covered by EU Regulations are required to certify every 4 months that they continue to work in this State.
Non-EU/EEA citizens are also required to certify every 4 months that they and their children continue to live in this State.
Penalties for false or misleading statements made to obtain Child Benefit
for you, or for any other person, include large fines or prison
for up to three years.
You must notify the Department of Social Protection (DSP) in writing of any changes in circumstances which may affect your Child Benefit claim. Changes which may affect your claim include:
You can use Form CB56 (pdf) to notify the DSP of any changes to your circumstances.
Child Benefit is €135 per month for each child (paid at the start of the month following the birth of the child).
Child Benefit in 2015
|Family size||Monthly rate, €|
If you have twins you get one and a half times the normal monthly rate for each child. For triplets and other multiple births, Child Benefit is paid at double the normal monthly rate for each child, provided at least three of the children remain qualified.
If your baby is born in Ireland and you are not claiming for any other children, the Child Benefit section will send you an application form. 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.)
If you are 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.
If your child is not born in Ireland or their birth is not registered within the required time (3 months) you must fill in Child Benefit (form CB1) (pdf). You must send this form (CB1) with a copy of your baby's birth certificate (if your baby was not born in Ireland) by FREEPOST to the Child Benefit Section - see 'Where to apply' below. Birth certificates are not required for children born in the State.
Child Benefit is a universal payment. However, it is open to you at any time either to decline to proceed with a claim in respect of a new baby or to opt out of receiving payments for existing children. To do this you write by FREEPOST to the Child Benefit Section - see 'Where to apply' below
To get Child Benefit for a child aged 16 or 17 fill in Child Benefit (form CB2) (pdf). If you are already getting Child Benefit for this child, the Child Benefit section will send you an application form in the post. Send your form by FREEPOST to the Child Benefit Section - see 'Where to apply' below. If you have any difficulty filling in this form, staff in your social welfare local office will help you.
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
St Oliver Plunkett Road
Opening Hours:You can only contact this office by email or telephone.
Tel:(074) 916 4400
Locall:1890 400 400
You can email the Child Benefit section using the secure enquiry form.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.