Deserted Wife's Benefit
Deserted Wife's Benefit and Deserted Wife’s Allowance are two social welfare payments made to women who were deserted by their husbands. Both of these payments were closed to new applications in January 1997, when the One-Parent Family Payment was introduced. Some women have continued to get Deserted Wife’s Benefit because they qualified for the payment before 2 January 1997 and have continued to meet the qualifying criteria.
Budget 2019: The maximum weekly rate of Deserted Wife’s Benefit will increase by €5. In addition, the weekly rate for a qualified child will increase by €2.20 from €31.80 to €34 for children under 12 years of age. It will increase by €5.20 from €31.80 to €37 for children aged 12 years and over. These increases will take effect from the week beginning 25 March 2019.
Deserted Wife's Benefit is a payment made to a woman deserted by her husband. Entitlement to the payment is based on social insurance contributions paid by the woman or her husband.
If you have transferred from Deserted Wife’s Benefit to One-Parent Family Payment to be accepted as a participant on a Community Employment Scheme, you can apply to have your entitlement to Deserted Wife's Benefit restored. The maximum weekly rate of payment for Deserted Wife’s Benefit is higher than the maximum weekly rate of One-Parent Family Payment. If you qualify to have your entitlement to Deserted Wife’s Benefit restored, you may also be due arrears.
Women getting Deserted Wife’s Benefit can apply for and transfer to the State Pension (Contributory) when they reach 66.
If you are currently getting a reduced rate of Deserted Wife's Benefit, but have been working, then you may qualify for a higher rate of State Pension (Contributory), based on your own PRSI contributions, when you reach 66. However, if you do not qualify for the State Pension (Contributory) when you reach 66, you will automatically get a higher rate of Deserted Wife's Benefit (see 'Rates' below).
From 29 March 2018:
|PRSI Contributions||Rate per week (aged under 66)||Rate per week (aged 66 or over)|
|48 or over||€203.50||€243.30|
Reduced rates of Deserted Wife's Benefit:
Any new application for Deserted Wife’s Benefit received on or after 31 August 1992 is subject to an earnings limit as well as satisfying the PRSI contribution condition. You will get one of the rates of Deserted Wife’s Benefit in the table above if your yearly income is less than €20,000. You are not entitled to Deserted Wife’s Benefit if your earnings are over €20,000.
It is important to note, a reduced rate of Deserted Wife's Benefit based on earnings or insufficient PRSI contributions does not apply to claims made before 31 August 1992.
How to apply
It is no longer possible to apply for Deserted Wife's Benefit or Deserted Wife's Allowance - these payments have been closed to new applicants since January 1997.
If you are getting Deserted Wife's Benefit, you may be entitled to extra benefits from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, including a Living Alone Allowance and the Household Benefits Package when you turn 66.
Where to apply
For more information about deserted wife's payments contact:
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Deserted Wife's Payments Section
Tel: (071) 915 7100 (If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call + 353 71 915 7100)
Locall: 1890 500 000 (Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)