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Child benefit and other supports

You can get child benefit after you register your baby's birth. This used to be called children's allowance.

This is paid to the parents or guardians of children under 16 years of age.

It is also paid to the parents or guardians of children aged under 18 if the child:

  • has a disability
  • is in full-time education or Youthreach training

The Child Benefit Scheme is run by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

When to apply for child benefit

You should apply for child benefit within 12 months of:

  • the birth of your baby
  • the month the child became a member of your family
  • the month your family came to live in Ireland

How to apply for child benefit

You need to first register the birth of your baby.

After this, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will begin a child benefit claim for your child.

More information can be found on Child Benefit -

Social supports

If your income is not enough to meet the needs of your baby, talk to the community welfare officer at your local social protection office. You may be entitled to welfare allowances.

Find your local social protection office -

Maternity Cash Grant

If you hold a medical card you can get a Maternity Cash Grant of €10.16 from the HSE after the birth of your child.

Apply for a Maternity Cash Grant through your Local Health Office.

Free GP visits for children under 8

All children under 8 years of age living in Ireland can get a GP visit card.

How to apply for the under 8s GP visit card

One-Parent Family Benefit

Contact the Department of Social Protection if you are parenting alone. You may be entitled to the One-Parent Family payment.

Benefits and entitlements if you have a baby

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2022
Next review due: 15 September 2025