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Family Services

Guardian's Payment

What is the Guardian’s Payment?

The Guardian's Payment is a weekly social welfare payment in Ireland, intended to assist individuals who are caring for a child who is an orphan.

How to qualify for Guardian’s Payment:

To qualify for Guardian's Payment, the child must meet certain criteria, including being under 18 (or 22 if in full-time education), and both parents are dead or one parent is either dead or unknown or has abandoned and failed to provide for the child.

You can only claim one type of payment: Guardian’s Payment (Contributory), Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory), or an Orphan’s Pension (awarded under the Death Benefit Scheme under the Occupational Injuries Scheme). Also, you can't receive any of these payments if you're already claiming a Foster Care Allowance, which is payable by Tusla.

Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory) is a non-contributory payment for a child who is not entitled to the contributory payment. The means test for this is based on the child’s means. Payment is made to the child’s guardian until the child turns 18 or, if the child is in full-time education, until they turn 22.

The Orphan’s Pension under the Occupational Injuries Scheme is not means-tested and may be awarded to the guardian of the child if the parent, step-parent or person who was supporting the orphaned child or children died as a result of an accident at work, died as a result of an occupational disease, or was receiving a Disablement Pension assessed at 50% or more at the time of their death.

Rates of Payment:

The payment amounts to €215 per week and is primarily for the child's benefit.
The individual receiving this payment doesn't need to be a legally appointed guardian; anyone who is caring for the child and responsible for their welfare in a domestic setting may be eligible for the payment.

If the child is aged between 18 and 22 and in full-time education, the payment can be made directly to the child. The payment can be contributory, which is based on the social insurance (PRSI) contributions paid by the parent, or non-contributory, based on the child's means.


Guardians' payments are exempt from income tax, PRSI, and USC.

How to Apply:

To apply, fill in the form below and send to:

Guardian's Payment
Address: Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office,
College Road,
Co Sligo,
F93 T384