A Complete Guide to the Working Family Payment

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Intro: Are you a hardworking parent striving to make ends meet? The Working Family Payment (WFP), previously known as the Family Income Supplement (FIS), is here to provide essential financial support for employees with children. Designed to ease the financial burden, WFP offers a helping hand to those on low incomes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the details of this invaluable assistance program, so you can determine if you qualify and how to apply.

What Is Working Family Payment (WFP)?

Working Family Payment, often referred to as WFP, is a weekly tax-free payment aimed at employees who are parents. This payment is tailored to assist individuals and families facing financial constraints while striving to provide for their children. It’s essential to note that WFP is exclusively available to employees and cannot be claimed by self-employed individuals.

Who Is Eligible for WFP?

To qualify for WFP, you must meet certain criteria:

  1. You should be working for 38 or more hours per fortnight, either individually or in combination with your spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant. Self-employment or participation in specific employment schemes doesn’t fulfill this requirement.
  2. Your employment must be expected to last at least three months.
  3. You must have at least one child who normally lives with you or whom you financially support.
  4. Your average weekly family income must be below a specific threshold, which varies based on your family size. The WFP payment you receive is calculated as 60% of the difference between your average weekly family income and the income limit associated with your family size.
  5. You must be employed, paying tax, and PRSI (Pay-Related Social Insurance) contributions in Ireland. In some cases, EU regulations may allow you to claim WFP if your dependent children live abroad.

Benefits and Duration of WFP

WFP is granted for 52 weeks as long as you meet the eligibility conditions. It’s important to note that changes in your financial situation, such as increased or decreased earnings, won’t affect your WFP during this period. After the 52-week period expires, you can reapply for WFP if necessary.

Apprenticeships and WFP

Apprentices can also benefit from WFP, provided they meet the qualifying criteria. For the purposes of WFP, apprentices are considered employed, both during on-the-job and off-the-job training phases.

Changes That Can Affect Your WFP

Several circumstances can impact your WFP:

  1. Starting to care for an additional child can lead to an increase in your weekly WFP rate.
  2. If you were previously receiving One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) and your payment ceased due to your youngest child reaching the OFP age limit, your WFP may be reassessed.
  3. Changes in your work hours, including falling below the 38-hour per fortnight threshold, can affect your eligibility. It’s crucial to inform the Department of Social Protection if this happens.
  4. Switching jobs or losing employment altogether will require you to notify the WFP section of the Department of Social Protection.

Other Social Welfare Payments and WFP

While receiving WFP, you may also be eligible for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance. Additionally, the Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) and WFP can be received simultaneously, as BTWFD doesn’t affect the income test for WFP.

However, WFP cannot be claimed alongside the following schemes or social welfare payments:

  • Community Employment Scheme, Rural Social Scheme, or the Tús scheme.
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Transitional payment, or Farm Assist.
  • Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme.

Maternity, Adoption, and Parental Leave

During maternity, adoptive, paternity, or parent’s leave, you are entitled to be treated the same as when you are at work. This means you can claim WFP if you meet the eligibility criteria and already have a child. Pregnant women without other children do not qualify for WFP until after the baby’s birth. However, additional unpaid maternity or adoptive leave, job loss after returning to work, or job resignation will affect your WFP eligibility.

Maintenance and the Working Family Payment

Separated parents can apply for WFP if they meet specific conditions:

  • Living with the children or
  • Wholly maintaining their ex-spouse, ex-civil partner, or ex-cohabitant with whom the children reside.

Wholly maintaining implies that the maintenance paid must be the primary income of the ex-spouse, ex-civil partner, or ex-cohabitant, who should not have an income exceeding €100 per week.

Paying Maintenance

If you are a separated parent paying maintenance, you may qualify for WFP. The maintenance recipient must not be receiving WFP, and you should provide written evidence of the maintenance payments.

Getting Maintenance

Maintenance payments are assessed in the means test for WFP, including payments for you and your children. Housing costs (rent or mortgage payments) up to €95.23 per week can be offset against maintenance payments. Half of the remaining balance is then considered as means. However, you can only offset housing costs for maintenance payments in one means test, not multiple.

Income from Rent

Income from rental properties is assessed in the means test for WFP, but mortgage payments and expenses cannot be deducted. However, renting out a room in your own home, earning up to €14,000 per year, won’t impact your WFP eligibility.

Calculating Income for WFP

The Department of Social Protection (DSP) calculates your assessable earnings over a specified period. As WFP is paid weekly over 52 weeks, the DSP determines your average earnings over a similar timeframe. If you are newly employed, your average weekly income is calculated from your start date with your current employer. Your spouse’s or partner’s self-employment income is calculated over the 12 months before your application.

WFP Income Limits Since 2023

As of January 5, 2023, the income limits for WFP are as follows:

  • One child: €591
  • Two children: €692
  • Three children: €793
  • Four children: €884
  • Five children: €1,010
  • Six children: €1,126
  • Seven children: €1,262
  • Eight or more children: €1,358

If you qualify for WFP, the minimum payment is €20 per week. To estimate your potential WFP amount and compare it to jobseeker payments, you can use the DSP’s Benefit of Work Estimator.

How to Apply for WFP

To apply for WFP, fill out the Working Family Payment application form, which you can obtain from your Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch Office, or Citizens Information Centre. You can also apply online at MyWelfare.ie if you have a MyGovID verified account. Remember to include your bank details and income information, along with your most recent payslips, for a swift application process.


If you believe your WFP application was wrongly refused, you have the right to appeal the decision.

Where to Send Your Application

Send your completed Working Family Payment application form to:

Working Family Payment (WFP) Section Department of Social Protection St. Oliver

St. Oliver Plunkett Road
Co. Donegal
F92 T449

Opening Hours: Phone line: 10:00am – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Tel: 074 916 4575

Homepage: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/08bb21-working-family-payment/

Email: wfpnewclaims@welfare.ie

You can also use the following email addresses:

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