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The facts on Family Income Supplement

Getting to grips with this support for families on low incomes


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life


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What is Family Income Supplement?

Family Income Supplement (or FIS) is a weekly social welfare payment for parents who have jobs but don’t earn a lot of money.

Would I be eligible for it?

You might be! Here's the story:

  • Firstly, you need to have at least one child who lives with you or is financially supported by you. This child must be under 18 years of age.
  • Secondly, the average amount of money your household makes every week must fall below a certain amount. This amount depends on how many children you have.
  • Thirdly, you must be working at least 19 hours every week. If you’re married, in a civil partnership, or living with a partner, their working hours can count towards this too.
  • Finally, your job needs to be likely to last at least 3 more months.

And what amount of money does my income have to fall under to get it?

That depends on how many children you have.

  • If you have one child, you need to earn less than €506 every week.
  • If you have two children, you need to earn less than €602 every week.
  • If you have three children, you need to earn less than €703 every week.
  • If you have four children, you need to earn less than €824 every week.
  • If you have five children, you need to earn less than €950 every week.
  • If you have six children, you need to earn less than €1,066 every week.
  • If you have seven children, you need to earn less than €1,202 every week.
  • If you have eight children, you need to earn less than €1,298 every week.

Remember, if you’re married, in a civil partnership, or living with your partner, their income will be counted too!

What if I’m already getting another social welfare payment?

Well, that depends. You may still be entitled to Family Income Support, if you’re also claiming:

  • One-parent family payment
  • Child benefit
  • Maternity benefit
  • Adoptive benefit
  • Illness benefit

However, you cannot claim Family Support Income if you are:

  • Claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit., as you must already have a job to claim Family Income Supplement.
  • Participating in a Community Employment Scheme, Gateway, Rural Social Scheme, the Tús scheme or JobBridge.

And are there any other rules?

Family Income Supplement is generally paid for 52 weeks (1 year). If your pay or hours at work are reduced during this time, your Family Income Supplement will stay the same. However, at the end of the 52 weeks, you’ll have the chance to re-apply for Family Income Supplement, and your new circumstances will be taken into account then.

How much money do you actually get?

Ok, this is where it gets complicated, so stay with us, ok?

Basically, the amount of Family Income Supplement you can get is 60% of the difference between the income limit for a family of your size and your actual income.

So for example, the income limit for a family with one child is €506. If you have on child and make €300 every week, you would calculate your Family Income Supplement by taking €300 away from €506, and calculating 60% of this. This would be 60% of €206, which is €123.60. This means if you earned €300 every week, and had one child, you would get €123.60 Family Income Supplement every week.

Another example: Ciara has 2 kids, ok? She works part-time and earns on average €150 a week. She lives with her boyfriend and he earns €100 every week. That means all together, her household earns €250 every week. The income limit for a family with 2 children is €602, so she’ll be able to qualify for Family Income Supplement. To find out how much she’ll be entitled to, Ciara needs to take away €250 (her household’s actual income) from €602 (the income limit for a family of her size), and calculate 60% of this. €250 from €602 is €352, and 60% of this is €211.20. This means she’ll get €211.20 Family Income Supplement every week.

Ok, I think I get it - how do I apply?

All you need to do is fill out this form and send it to:

Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Ireland

You can get a copy of this form at your local social welfare or Intreo office - click here to find a list of these. Plus, if you need a hand filling out the form, don’t be afraid to ask the staff at the social welfare office or citizen’s information for help - that’s what they’re there for! You can find more information on filling out the form here.

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Published November 20th, 2014
Last updated November 29th, 2016
Tags young parent social welfare money
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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