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What is the Working Family Payment?

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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The Working Family Payment (WFP), previously known as the Family Income Supplement (or FIS) is a weekly social welfare payment for parents who have jobs but don’t earn a lot of money.

Am I eligible for Working Family Payment?

There are a few conditions you have to meet before you'll be eiligible for FIS:

  • 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 €521 every week.
  • If you have two children, you need to earn less than €622 every week.
  • If you have three children, you need to earn less than €723 every week.
  • If you have four children, you need to earn less than €834 every week.
  • If you have five children, you need to earn less than €960 every week.
  • If you have six children, you need to earn less than €1,076 every week.
  • If you have seven children, you need to earn less than €1,212 every week.
  • If you have eight children, you need to earn less than €1,308 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 Working Family Payment, if you’re also claiming:

However, you cannot claim Working Family Payment if you are:

How long does Working Family Payment last?

Working Family Payment is generally paid for 52 weeks (1 year).

  • If your pay or hours at work are reduced during this time, your Working Family Payment will stay the same.
  • However, at the end of the 52 weeks, you’ll have the chance to re-apply for Working Family Payment, and your new circumstances will be taken into account then.

How much money do you actually get?

The amount of Working Family Payment you can get is 60% of the difference between the income limit for a family of your size and your actual income.

Example - A family with one child:

  • The income limit for a family with one child is €521.
  • If you have one child and make €300 every week, you would calculate your Working Family Payment by taking €300 away from €521, and calculating 60% of this.
  • This would be 60% of €221, which is €132.60. This means if you earned €300 every week, and had one child, you would get €132.60 Working Family Payment every week.

Example - A family with two children.

  • Ciara has 2 kids. 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 €622, so she’ll be able to qualify for Working Family Payment.
  • To find out how much she’ll be entitled to, Ciara needs to take away €250 (her household’s actual income) from €622 (the income limit for a family of her size), and calculate 60% of this.
  • €250 from €612 is €372, and 60% of this is €223.20.
  • This means she’ll get €223.20 Working Family Payment every week.

How do I apply for Working Family Payment?

To apply for Working Family Payment, you need to fill out this form and send it to the below address:

Working Family Payment (WFP) Section,
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection,
Social Welfare Services Office,
Government Buildings,
Ballinalee Road,
Longford,
Ireland

You can also get help from your local Intreo office.

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Published November 20th, 2014
Last updated October 16th, 2018
Tags young parent social welfare money employment social welfare scheme
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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