Marital status and social welfare entitlements

Introduction

For the purposes of most social welfare payments in Ireland (for example, Jobseeker's Allowance and Supplementary Welfare Allowance, unmarried couples who are living together are treated in the same way as married couples or civil partners.

However, your marital status will affect your entitlement to Widow's/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension. You can only claim Widow's/Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension if your spouse or civil partner dies. You will not be entitled to this pension if you re-marry.

Where to apply

Further information about how your marital status can affect your entitlements is available from your local social welfare office. Staff will be happy to explain your entitlements and to fill in forms. In the case of Supplementary Welfare Allowance, you should contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's representative (fomerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) in your local social welfare office.

Page edited: 12 November 2019