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Child benefit and other supports for parents

Child benefit

After you register your baby you can get child benefit (which used to be called children's allowance).

This is payable 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 is in full-time education, Youthreach training or has a disability.

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

If your baby is born in Ireland, when you register the birth of your baby the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will begin a child benefit claim for your child. They will then send you a claim form for your signature and payment details.

If you are already claiming child benefit for another child, your new baby will be added to your child benefit claim. Payment will begin automatically from the month after the birth is registered. You will get a letter confirming payment.

If your child is not born in Ireland, or their birth is not registered within the required time (3 months), you must fill in a form for child benefit (form CB1).

You must then send the form to the Child Benefit Section of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Child Benefit Section

Address:
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
St Oliver Plunkett Road
Letterkenny
Co. Donegal
F92 T449

Phone number: (074) 916 4496 (If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland call + 353 74 916 4496)
Locall phone number: 1890 400 400

More information can be found on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection website.

You can contact the Child Benefit Section using the secure general enquiry form.

Social supports

If you hold a medical card you are entitled to a Maternity Cash Grant from the HSE after the birth of your child.

All children under 6 years of age living in Ireland can get a GP visit card. Go to the Under 6s GP visit card section for information on how to apply.

Speak to your Department of Social Protection's Community Welfare Officer, if your income is not enough to meet the needs of your baby.

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.

Page last reviewed: 15/03/2018
Next review due: 15/03/2021