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Almost 1.5 million to Gain as Budget 2019 Increases Commence

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., today announced that the new increased rate of pensions and weekly social welfare increases introduced in Budget 2019 come into effect next week Budget 2019 included €362 million in additional social welfare expenditure, bringing the total social welfare spend to €20.5 billion for the year.

The maximum personal rate of pension will increase by €5 per week for 637,340 pensioners aged 66 and over from the week commencing 25 March - for themselves and 72,640 dependants. There will also be a €5 increase for 684,700 weekly welfare recipients including carers, widows, people with disabilities, lone parents, jobseekers, Maternity and Paternity Benefit recipients, Farm Assist recipients and Community Employment participants.

Qualified adults and people receiving reduced rates of payment will receive proportional increases.  

Next week will also see the increases on weekly payments of €2.20 for dependent children aged under 12, and €5.20 for dependent children aged 12 and over, secured by Minister Doherty in the Budget. This will bring the qualified child increases to €34per week and €37 per week respectively.

Working lone parents who are receiving the One Parent Family Payment and Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment will now be able to earn an extra €20 per week, up to €150, and keep their full payment. Some 13,200 families will benefit from this which takes effect from next week.

People receiving the Working Family Payment in receipt of maintenance will benefit from a new disregard of €95 per week in respect of housing costs.  

The weekly Fuel Allowance of €22.50 is being extended by one week this year until 12 April.Some 373,800 households will benefit.

Ahead of the increases, Minister Doherty commented:

“The increases - which will begin to kick in over the next few days – will benefit a wide variety of people throughout the country. Old, young, widows, single parents, farmers, those with a disability and those searching for work – up to 1.5 million people stand to benefit in communities throughout Ireland. These increases are part of the continuing incremental work I began last year and are allowing us to restore supports after a lost decade of cuts.

“Furthermore, some of these increases allow us to target resources where they are best placed to really help our most vulnerable citizens – particularly children. So, as well as a five euro increase in most allowances, I am also providing for increases in the payment for qualified children - including a significant increase for children aged 12 and over. Over 330,000 children will benefit from these increases. As we finalise our new national anti-poverty strategy - which will be launched in the coming weeks – I hope to build on this work to create a country which creates opportunity and support for all.”Date from which the increases in weekly social welfare payments take effect follow.

Effective Dates  Increases in Weekly Rates – Budget 2019 
 Payment TypeDate
  20th March 2019
 Jobseeker’s Allowance 
 Farm Assist 
  21st March 2019
 Jobseeker’s Benefit
  25th March 2019
 Illness Benefit
 Injury Benefit
 Maternity/Adoptive Benefit
 Paternity Benefit
 Health and Safety Benefit
 Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  27th March 2019
 Disability Allowance
  28th March 2019
 Invalidity Pension
 Deserted Wife's Benefit
 Deserted Wife's Allowance
 One Parent Family Payment (Other than a Widow/er)
 Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment
 Carer's Allowance
 Carer's Benefit
 Family Income Supplement
  29th March 2019
 Disablement Pension
 Disablement Gratuity
 Death Benefit Pension (under the OIB scheme)
 State Pension (Contributory)
 Widow/er's (Contributory) Pension
 Guardian’s Payment (Contributory)
 State Pension (Non-Contributory)
 Blind Person's Pension
 Widow/er's (Non-Contributory) Pension
 One-Parent-Family-Payment (in the case of a Widow/er)
 Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory)