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Child Benefit

Information

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.

Child Benefit is paid at one and a half times the monthly rate for twins, and at double the monthly rate for triplets and other multiple births.

There are no new changes to Child Benefit in Budget 2014. Child Benefit was standardised at €130 per month for each child from January 2014, as announced in Budget 2013.

Some Child Benefit customers are currently being registered for a Public Services Card by the Department of Social Protection.

Rules

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

  • The birth of your baby or
  • The month the child became a member of your family or
  • 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 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 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.

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 (see 'How to apply' below) one month before your child's 16th birthday. This form must also be signed and offically stamped by:

  • The school or college if your child is in full-time education
  • The Youthreach centre 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/Youthreach course before the certified date or
  • Your child is able to support himself or herself before reaching age 18 or the date certified by the doctor.

Full-time education (aged 16 and 17)

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.

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 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

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.

Anti-fraud checks

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.

Fraudulent claims for Child Benefit

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.

Changes in circumstances

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:

  • Change of address
  • Child is no longer with you or in your care
  • Change of post office or other financial institution
  • Child aged 16 or 17 leaves full-time education
  • You or your child(ren) leave the State
  • You or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant start work in another country

You can use Form CB56 (pdf) to notify the DSP of any changes to your circumstances.

Rates

Child Benefit is €130 per month for each child.

Child Benefit in 2014

Family size Monthly rate, €
One child
130.00
Two children 260.00
Three children 390.00
Four children 520.00
Five children 650.00
Six children 780.00
Seven children
910.00
Eight children 1,040

Multiple births

The rate of child benefit paid for twins is 1.5 times the monthly rate for one child.

Where the multiple birth involves three or more children, the rate of benefit paid is double the monthly rate, provided at least three of the children remain qualified.

How to apply

Child under 16 years of age

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

Children aged 16 and 17

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.

Where to apply

Child Benefit Section

Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
St Oliver Plunkett Road
Letterkenny
Donegal
Ireland

Opening Hours:You can only contact this office by email or telephone.
Tel:(074) 916 4400
Locall:1890 400 400
Homepage: http://www.welfare.ie

You can email the Child Benefit section using the secure enquiry form.


Page updated: 1 April 2014

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Related Documents

  • Budget 2012
    Budget 2012 was announced on 5 and 6 December 2011. Summary of the main changes.
  • Budget 2013
    Budget 2013 was announced on 5 December 2012. Summary of the main changes.
  • Budget 2011
    Budget 2011 was announced on 7 December 2010. Summary of the main changes.

Contact Us

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.