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New measures to see increases in some social welfare payments from this week

Pensioners and people with disabilities who are living alone are the main cohort of social welfare recipients to benefit.

Image: Shutterstock/Yulia Grigoryeva

MORE THAN 200,000 people are set to receive increases in their social welfare payments from this week on, as part of new measures announced in Budget 2020. 

Pensioners and people with disabilities who are living alone are the main cohort of social welfare recipients to benefit from the increase. 

Speaking of the new measures, Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty said vulnerable people will benefit most. 

“The increases, which come into effect this week, were introduced specifically to target those most in need. I was particularly pleased to be able to focus resources towards vulnerable children and older people,” she said. 

“Budget 2020 was about ensuring that we used the resources available to effect the best possible changes for society. I hope these changes will improve the position of as many families and vulnerable people as possible.”

There will be a €5 increase in the living alone allowance, from €9 to €14 per week – this is paid to pensioners and people with disabilities living alone. 

The weekly fuel allowance is to increase by €2 to €24.50 per week – this will have an impact on over 370,000 households, according to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. 

Those in receipt of some social welfare payments will see a €3 increase for qualified child dependents over 12, and a €2 increase for qualified child dependents under 12. 

The working family payment thresholds increase by €10 per week for families with one, two, or three children. Some 55,000 families are expected to benefit at a cost of €19 million. 

The earnings disregard for working lone parents receiving one parent family payment or jobseeker’s transition payment will increase by €15 to €165 per week. 

Jobseekers over 25 years old will receive the full rate of jobseeker’s allowance, while jobseekers under 25 years old, living independently and in receipt of State support such as the rent supplement, will receive the full jobseeker’s allowance

This week, the number of hours that carers can work or study outside the home has increased from 15 to 18.5 hours per week. 

From 1 February 2020, the national minimum wage will also increase to €10.10 per hour. 

From 1 January 2020, a number of other measures were introduced.

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