Child Benefit is a monthly payment to the parents or guardians of children who are under 16. It is also paid for children under 18, if they are in full-time education or full-time training or if they have a disability and cannot support themselves.
Child Benefit is not paid for any child dependant aged 18 or older, even if they are in full-time education or training.
Child Benefit is a universal payment. This means that your income level and your social insurance (PRSI) record do not affect whether you get it.
Child Benefit is not taxable.
Brexit and Child Benefit
After Brexit, you will continue to get your Child Benefit as before. For example:
- If you work in the UK and live in Ireland, you will continue to get your UK Child Benefit payment and Irish Child Benefit supplement.
- If you work in Ireland and live in the UK, you will continue to get your Irish Child Benefit payment.
- If you work and live in Ireland with your children, and your partner (spouse, civil partner or cohabitant) works in the UK, you should apply for Child Benefit in Ireland.
How to get Child Benefit
You should 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 your family came to live in Ireland or
- The date you started working in Ireland if your children are living in another EU country
You can get more information in our document on habitual residence.
If you are an EU/EEA citizen working in Ireland, you will meet this condition. You can read more about Child Benefit and EU regulations below.
How to claim for a new baby
If your baby is born in Ireland, you will need to register the birth of your baby within 3 months of the birth. After you do this, the Department of Social Protection (DSP) will begin a Child Benefit claim for your child. They will send you a partly completed claim form for you to sign and add your details for getting paid.
If you are already claiming Child Benefit for another child, your new baby will be added to your Child Benefit claim. Payment begins automatically from the month after the birth. The DSP will write to let you know when payment will start.
Your new baby will be given a Personal Public Service (PPS) number.
If your child was not born in Ireland, or if you did not register their birth within 3 months, you must fill in Child Benefit (form CB1) (pdf). Send it to the Child Benefit Section. See ‘How to apply’ below for more information.
How to claim for a child aged 16 and 17
You can continue getting Child Benefit for a child aged 16 or 17 if they have a disability or if they are in full-time education or full-time training. You will need to fill in Child Benefit (form CB2) (pdf) one month before your child’s 16th birthday. See ‘How to apply’ below.
This form must also be signed and officially stamped by:
- The school or college if your child is in full-time education or
- The training organisation, if your child is in full-time training or
- A doctor, if your child has a disability and is unable to financially support themselves
If your child is aged 16 or 17 and you are getting Child Benefit for them, you must inform the DSP immediately if your child leaves school or college or their training course.
Similarly, if your child has a disability and becomes able to support themselves before reaching 18 or the date originally certified by the doctor, you must inform the DSP.
If this is your first time claiming Child Benefit or you have started to care for an older child, you should make a claim by submitting both application forms, CB1 and CB2. For more details, see ‘How to apply’ below.
Full-time education (aged 16 and 17)
If your child is 16 or 17 and in full-time education, you will get Child Benefit until June in each school year. You will get Child Benefit for July and August only if your child returns to education in September.
In August, the Child Benefit section will send you an application form. You must complete and return it when your child returns to full-time education in September.
When you get your next payment, it will include any arrears (money owed to you). This will include Child Benefit for July and August. If your child turns 18 in July or August and returns to full-time education in September, you will get any arrears of Child Benefit, up until the month they turn 18.
If you do not get a form in the post from the Child Benefit section, fill in form Child Benefit CB2 in September. See ‘How to apply’ below.
A change in your circumstances
You must tell the DSP in writing about any changes in your circumstances which could affect your Child Benefit claim. Examples of changes in circumstances are:
- You change your address
- Your child no longer lives with you or is no longer in your care
- You start using a different bank or post office for your benefit payments
- Your child, who is aged 16 or 17, leaves full-time education
- You or your children leave Ireland
- You or your partner start work in another country
Use Form CB56 (pdf) to tell the DSP of any changes to your circumstances.
If you start to care for a child under 16, you should make a new claim for Child Benefit by completing the CB1 form. If the child is 16 or over, you need to complete both CB1 and CB2 forms - see 'How to apply' below.
Child Benefit and EU Regulations
To claim Child Benefit in Ireland, you must be habitually resident in Ireland. If you are an EU or EEA citizen or a Swiss national and you work in Ireland, you meet this rule (known as the habitual residence condition).
You also meet the habitual residence condition if you have been working in Ireland but become unemployed and get 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 children are living in another EU/EEA country).
If your children are living in a different EU/EEA country from you, you should also apply for any family benefit payments you are entitled to in the country where they live.
If your children are living in another EU country, you should apply for within 12 months of the date that you or your partner started working in Ireland.
You can find out more about family benefits and EU Regulations on Your Europe website. You can also contact the Child Benefit Section for more information on how EU rules affect Child Benefit. See ‘Where to apply’ below.
If you are not an EU or EEA citizen, you must meet the habitual residence condition to quality for Child Benefit in Ireland.
If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen and are legally working in Ireland, you may qualify for Child Benefit if your child is resident in Ireland or in another EU state.
More information is available in our document on habitual residence.
Fraudulent claims for Child Benefit
If you make false or misleading statements to try to get Child Benefit for yourself, or for any other person, you may be prosecuted. This could result in a fine or a prison term, or both.
Child Benefit rate
Child Benefit is €140 a month for each child. It is paid on the first Tuesday of every month. If you start getting Child Benefit for the first time for a baby, it will be paid at the start of the month after the birth of the child. It is paid up to the month they reach 18.
Child Benefit in 2021
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If you have twins, you get one-and-a-half times the normal monthly rate of Child Benefit 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 3 of the children meet the conditions (such as being under 16).
If you don’t want Child Benefit
You do not have to claim Child Benefit. If you decide not to claim it for a new baby or decide to stop getting it for your children, you can contact the Child Benefit Section. See ‘Where to apply’ below.
How to apply for Child Benefit
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 a partly completed form CB1 (pdf) for your signature and payment details. This form also includes information on how to claim for your new baby online.
If you are already getting Child Benefit, your new baby is added to your Child Benefit claim. After you register the birth, the DSP will send you a letter confirming your payment.
If your child was not born in Ireland, or their birth was not registered within the 3 months, you must fill in form CB1(pdf). Send this form 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 DSP will send you a partly completed application form. You will need to confirm that your child is still in full-time education or full-time training, or has a disability and cannot support themselves. Send your form to the Child Benefit Section. See ‘Where to apply’ below.
If this is the first time you have claimed Child Benefit, you should make fill in both application forms, CB1 and CB2.
Where to apply