Budget 2021 payment increases set to take effect in January 2021

Over €177 million in improvements to weekly welfare payments

Budget 2021 payment increases set to take effect in January 2021

Social Welfare payment increases are set to take effect in January

A number of Social Welfare payment increases are set to take effect in January 2021 as part of measures introduced in Budget 2021.

Payments for qualified child dependants will increase by €5 for children aged 12 or over and €2 for children aged up to 12, meaning parents on weekly social welfare payments will see an increase in their weekly rate of payment.

These increases will take effect at various dates in January depending on the weekly welfare payment that either parent is receiving.

It is expected that this increase will benefit some 419,000 children at a cost of €59.2 million in 2021.

The Fuel Allowance payment is increasing by €3.50 to €28.00 per week with effect from January, 2021. Over 375,000 households will benefit from this rate change which assists many vulnerable people with the cost of heating their homes during the winter months.

People who are currently receiving the Fuel Allowance will receive the increase which will take effect during the week beginning Monday next, January 4, – the days will vary, depending on the payment that the customer is receiving. This measure will cost €36.8 million in 2021.

The Living Alone Allowance will increase by €5 per week to €19 benefitting over 221,000 people including pensioners, widows and widowers, and people with disabilities.

It will take effect from the first week in January, depending on the day that the particular payment is made. Some 221,700 people are due to receive this increase at a cost of €57.5 million in 2021.

The Island Allowance (paid to people living on certain offshore islands) will increase by €7.30 to €20 per week from January 4.

This is the first time that the Island Allowance has been increased since it was introduced in 2000. Some 600 recipients of this allowance will benefit from the increase at a cost of €0.25 million in 2021.

The Working Family Payment will have its weekly income threshold increased by €10 for families with up to three children from the first week of January.

This will benefit some 48,700 families who are on a low income at a cost of €21.4 million next year.

Separately, the Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant which assists widows, widowers and surviving civil partners with children following the death of their partner is increasing from €6,000 to €8,000 with effect from January 1. This increase is estimated at €2.2 million for 2021.

Commenting on the payment increases, Minister Humphreys said she was pleased to announce that a number of social welfare rates will increase this January as part of measures she introduced in her first Budget as Social Protection Minister.

“The Pandemic Unemployment Payment has understandably received much public attention over the past year but it is also important to remember that many individuals and families in every county receive a weekly social welfare payment including pensions, One-Parent Family payments and disability payments.

“The upcoming social welfare rate increases will benefit the most vulnerable members of our society, and – despite what has been a challenging year for many – I am delighted to have secured this increase in spending to help welcome in the year 2021 and, hopefully, better days ahead,” she said.

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