We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Child-maintenance removed from means test
Minister Heather Humphreys (Pic: RollingNews.ie)

07 Mar 2024 / ireland Print

Child-maintenance removed from means test

Child-maintenance payments will be disregarded from the means test for social-welfare payments from 1 May, after the President signed new legislation into law.

The measures also mean that child benefit will be extended to all 18-year-olds who are in full-time school or third-level education – also from 1 May.

The Department of Social Protection says that the enactment of the Social Welfare and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 means that many lone parents on reduced rates of payment will see their payment increase, while others will qualify for a payment.

It estimates that this measure will benefit over 16,000 lone parents and will cost approximately €10 million a year.

‘Landmark reform’

Minister Heather Humphreys described the legislation as “a landmark reform” of the child-maintenance system.

The extension of child benefit to 18-year-olds in education will benefit around 60,000 children a year, according to the department.

The minister clarified that this measure applied to all 18-year-olds who were still in full-time education in May 2024.

“For example, parents of children who recently turned 18 in February will be paid again from May 2024 up to their 19th birthday, once their child is in full-time education,” she said.

“So, if you are out of payment and your child is 18 and still in full-time education, your payment will be reinstated by the department,” she stated.

The changes are based on the recommendations of the Report of the Child Maintenance Review Group, chaired by former Circuit Court judge Catherine Murphy, in relation to the social-welfare system.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland