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Child Benefit in Ireland

Child Benefit (previously known as Children’s Allowance) is payable to the parents or guardians of children under 16 years of age, or under 18 years of age if the child is in full-time education, FÁS Youthreach training or has a disability.

You need to apply for Child Benefit within 12 months of:

  • The birth of your baby
  • The month the child became a member of your family or
  • The month the family came to live in Ireland
  • Commencement of employment in Ireland.

Please note, you do not need to apply for Child Benefit if your child is born in Ireland and is registered within 6 months of the birth. When you register your child’s birth, if you provide the necessary information about yourself and your child to the Registrar, the Child Benefit Office will contact you within 10 days of the birth registration to arrange your payment.

For further information please visit the Department of Social Protection web page – Child Related Payments

Cross-border issues

“Cross border workers must apply for child benefit in the country where they work. Unless one parent is employed or is self employed on each side of the border, then they should apply in the country of residence of the children.”   Source – – page 11, example 11.

Under EU Regulations, the country of employment pays the family benefits even though the family may reside in another EU member state. If both parents are employed in two different countries, the country of residence of the children pays the family benefits and the other State considers a supplement payment.  (If you are in any doubt about where to apply , North or South, you should apply in both jurisdictions as this will ensure you apply within the 12 month timeframe.)

A supplement payment is the difference between the total amount of family benefits payable in the UK (Child Benefit + Child Tax Credit) and Ireland (Child Benefit).

Bundling – When applying for a top up of Child Benefit from the South, NI Child tax credits are bundled together with Child benefit received in the North and the total amount is taken away from the Irish Child Benefit rate.  The shortfall, if any, is then paid out as a supplement.

Confirming entitlement to Child Tax Credits can delay this process and currently there are cases that have been delayed for over 12 months. However, If your household income is above the (HMRC-defined) income threshold you will not qualify for child tax credits.

Frequently cross border applications for Child Tax Credits are deemed Complex Cases. When dealing with the Tax Credits Office you should ask to speak to someone with knowledge of EU regulations or a Team Leader

If this is the situation the Child benefits authorities in the ROI will require documentary evidence of this ie P60’s or a letter from a certified accountant verifying that the income is above the threshold and as such no child tax credits are payable. Once the ROI authorities are satisfied the income is above the threshold they will pay the exact difference between the child benefit received in the North and the amount payable in the South.

The Child Benefit application form is available for download from the Department of Social Protection website – Form CB1

For further information please contact the Child Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection:

  • Telephone 00353 (0)74 916 4400 or Local 1890 400 400

See also

Page last checked: February 2016

This webpage is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep it up-to-date, errors may occur.  It is very important that you check with the relevant body to ensure the information is current and is applicable to your situation: – North /  South

If you would like to suggest amendments or highlight new information that could be useful to others please don’t hesitate to get in touch.