Social welfare payments
The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced social protection measures worth €2.3 billion, in what has been described as the largest social welfare package in Irish history. The measures include a €100 per child one-off payment for those who receive an increase for a qualified child on their social welfare payment.
On this page, you’ll find out more about social welfare payments in Ireland, the disability allowance, and how savings affect social welfare.
What’s on this page?
What are social welfare payments?
The social welfare system is government-provided financial support for people who might need help, for example if they are unemployed, sick, disabled, retired, or single parents.
There are three different types of social welfare payment in Ireland:
- Social insurance payments – you qualify for social insurance payments if you have enough insurance contributions, and meet the specific conditions
- Social assistance payments (also knowns as means-tested payments) – you can claim social assistance payments if you do not have enough pay related social insurance (PRSI) contributions to qualify for the equivalent social insurance-based payments
- Universal payments – to qualify for universal payments, you must meet specific personal circumstances
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Social welfare payments in Ireland, 2023
As part of Budget 2024, the following measures were announced:
- A double lump sum child benefit (€280 per child)
- A Christmas bonus
- €200 for the living alone allowance
- €400 for the carers support grant
- A €400 lump sum for the disability support grant
- €400 for the working family payment
- A €300 fuel allowance payment and a €100 qualified child bonus
What is the social welfare Christmas bonus?
A Christmas bonus of 100% of the normal weekly payment will be paid to people getting long-term social welfare payments. If you qualify for the bonus, you will receive it automatically and do not need to apply. Fuel allowance is not a qualifying payment for the Christmas bonus.
The announcement of a Christmas bonus will be welcome news for many, at an expensive time of the year. There will also be a January bonus paid out to those in receipt of social welfare payments.
Disability allowance in Ireland
The disability allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people with a disability, which can be claimed from 16 years of age. If you qualify for disability allowance, you may also get extra social welfare benefits with your payment and other supplementary welfare payments. Disability allowance is a means-tested payment, which means that the Department of Social Protection examines all your sources of income before deciding how much you are entitled to.
How do savings affect social welfare?
If you or your spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant set aside a portion of your weekly social welfare payment, these savings will be considered as part of your means, as well as savings from most other sources.
This is the formula for assessing the value of capital including property (excluding your own home), savings and investments:
|Capital||Weekly means assessed|
|Next €10,000||€1 per €1,000|
|Next €10,000||€2 per €1,000|
|Balance (€40,000 +)||€4 per €1,000|
If you have a joint account, legally the total amount in the account is owned by each of you. As a result, it can be assessed in full against each of you. However, if you and your spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant are both getting means-tested payments, it will be assessed on a shared basis or against only one of you.
When applying for disability allowance, you can have up to €50,000 in savings and still receive the full rate of payment; the next €10,000 is assessed at €1 per thousand, the next €10,000 at €2 per thousand, with the rest assessed at €4 per thousand.
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