Search icon


01st May 2024

Changes to the Child Benefit scheme set to take effect this week

Sophie Collins

Child benefit

The changes to Child Benefit will take effect this week

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys has provided clarity on significant changes to the Child Benefit scheme set to take effect this week.

Starting from May 1st, the monthly payment will be extended to include people under the age of 19 who are either in full-time education or living with a disability, according to the Irish Mirror.

In a statement made in the Dáil last month, Minister Humphreys outlined the details of the upcoming changes and said: “As the measure comes into effect from 1 May, where a child turns 18 in the meantime, there will be no payment for any intervening period up to May 2024, which is the usual approach for changes to the social welfare system that takes effect from a future date.”

Parents or guardians will not need to reapply for Child Benefit if their child is enrolled in full-time education, provided that the Department holds a current education certificate. 

Payments will automatically reactivate from May 2024, as long as the certificate remains valid, and will continue until the child turns 19 or until the certificate expires, whichever comes first.

Minister Humphreys emphasised the long-term benefits of extending Child Benefit to 18-year-olds in full-time education.

“With many children now starting primary school at age five, together with the increase in pupils doing transition year, there has been an increase in the number of 18-year-olds still in secondary education. 

“I believe the extension of Child Benefit to 18-year-olds in full-time education is a long-term change for the better and will support families across Ireland into the future.”

The Minister expressed satisfaction with the earlier implementation date of May 1st, which was made possible by the enactment of necessary legislation earlier this month. 

She highlighted the estimated impact of the change, stating:  “In the region of 60,000 children are expected to benefit from this measure annually. The additional estimated cost of bringing the commencement date forward to May is €21.6 million.”

In response to the impending changes, parents and guardians are urged to ensure that they are aware of the eligibility criteria and necessary documentation to ensure a smooth transition to the extended Child Benefit scheme.