Welfare and Pension Increases in Budget 2019
State Pensions will be increased by €5 a week in the week beginning 25th March 2019. There will be proportional increases for dependant adults and those on reduced rates.
The top rate of contributory state pension (over 80 ) will now be €258.30 a week. Under 80’s will get a top rate of €248.30
The maximum non contributory pension (over 80) will be €247 a week. (€237 for under 80).
Social Welfare Benefits :
All weekly rates of working age benefits are also due to increase by €5 a week in the week beginning 26th March 2019 .
This includes Jobseekers, Farm Assist, One Parent Family Payment, Carers Allowance , Disability, Invalidity, Maternity , Supplementary Welfare.
Maternity/Paternity/Adoptive Benefit, Illness Benefit, Blind Pension, Carer’s Benefit, Carer’s Allowance, Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension, One-Parent Family Payment, Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Farm Assist. This also includes increases in employment programmes such as, Back to Education Allowance, CE, TÚS and Rural Social Scheme.
The top rate of Jobseekers Benefit will now be €203 a week and Supplementary Welfare will be €201 a week
The €5 increase also applies to Jobseekers aged under 26 who are on a reduced rate of payment.
There will be proportionate increases for people on reduced rate payments and for qualified adult dependants .
(For example : a State Pension adult dependant payment is currently €153.30 which is two thirds of the personal rate of €232 . The increase on this will be two thirds of €5 which is €3.30 – making the new amount €156.60)
There will also be €2.20 increase for each qualified child dependant aged under 12 on all weekly payments – from week beginning 25th March 2019.
There will also be €5.20 increase for each qualified child dependant aged 12 and over in all weekly payments – from week beginning 25th March 2019.
(No changes to Child Benefit or Carers Support Grant)
Other Changes to Welfare in Budget 2019
Welfare Christmas Bonus : Will be paid at 100% for Christmas 2018 – more details here
Fuel allowance: the payment period was extended from 27 weeks to 28 weeks –
Prescription charges for over 70s will be reduced to €1.50 an item (from €2) (From Jan 1st 2018)
Drugs Payment Scheme– monthly threshold reduced from €134 to €124 (From April 1st 2019)
Daily Expenses Allowance (formerly Direct Provision Allowance) will increase by €17.20 to €38.80 per week for adults and by €8.20 to €29.80 per week for each child, from week beginning 25 March 2019.
Earnings disregard for working lone parents receiving One Parent Family Payment or Jobseeker’s Transition Payment to increase by €20 to €150 per week
Working Family Payment recipients to benefit from a new maintenance disregard of €95 per week in respect of housing costs, with the remainder to be assessed at 50%
Housing Assistance Payment – an extra €150 million to be allocated.
€25 increase in the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance for each qualifying child
Self employed to become eligible for Jobseeker’s Benefit to be introduced in Quarter 4, 2019.