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Family Income Supplement SW 22

Print out the Family Income Supplement claim form here.

What is Family Income Supplement (FIS)?
How to Qualify?
What Does Full-time Employment Mean?
What Counts as Family Income?
What are Assessable Earnings?
How is your Average Family Income Calculated?
How Much Can You Get?
How is FIS Paid?
How Long is FIS Paid For?
Can I Get FIS if I am Getting Another Social Welfare Payment?
Extra Benefits
When to Apply
How to Apply
More Information
Points to Note


1. What is Family Income Supplement (FIS)?
Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly payment for families, including lone parent families, at work on low pay.

If you qualify for FIS and continue working, your payment will normally remain the same for a 52 week period. At the end of this time, you can re-qualify for FIS if you are still eligible -see PART 9.

2. How to Qualify?
You may qualify if:

you are an employee in paid full-time employment which is expected to last for 3 months and you work at least 19 hours every week (or 38 hours every fortnight). If you are married or living with someone as husband and wife, hours worked by your spouse / partner can be combined.
you have at least one qualified child who is normally living with and being supported by you. (A qualified child is any child under age 18 or aged 18 to 22 if in full-time education.)
your average weekly family income is below the following amount: (limits from 3 January 2002):

Size of Family Income Limit
1 Child €362
2 Children €388
3 Children €413
4 Children €438
5 Children €470
6 Children €496
7 Children €517
8 Children or more €539

Note: If both you and your spouse / partner are working your income will be added together.

3. What does Full-time Employment Mean?
Full-time employment means that your job must be a minimum of 19 hours every week (or 38 hours every fortnight) and likely to last for at least 3 months.

Casual work such as, seasonal work of less than 3 months and Government Schemes do not count as full-time employment.

However, Back to Work Allowance (Employees), Job Initiative, Jobstart and Part-time Job Incentive do count as full-time employment. You will not qualify for a FIS payment for any week you are getting an unemployment payment (excluding the Back to Work Allowance (Employees)).

4. What Counts as Family Income?
The main items counted as income are:

your assessable earnings (see Part 5 below)
your spouse / partner's assessable earnings (see Part 5 below)
any extra income you or your spouse / partner have from employment (such as, payments for overtime, bonuses, allowances or commission)
any income you or your spouse / partner may have from self-employment
income from occupational pensions
any other income you or your spouse / partner may have - including social welfare or health board payments except the following:
Child Benefit
Carer's Allowance
Orphan's Allowance or Pension
Supplementary Welfare Allowance
Rent Allowance for tenants affected by the De-control of Rents
Domiciliary Care Allowance
Foster Child Allowance
income from casual employment by a Health board as a home help
income from a charitable organisation
unearned income (for example, income from property or rent of land)
income from providing accommodation to students studying Irish in Gaeltacht areas under a scheme administered by the Minister for the Gaeltacht.

5. What are Assessable Earnings?
Assessable earnings for FIS purposes is:

Gross Pay
Minus Tax
Employee PRSI
For you and your spouse / partner.

6. How is your Average Family Income Calculated?
If you are paid weekly or fortnightly, your weekly income is based on the weekly average of your assessable earnings in the 4 week period before you make your claim.

If you are paid monthly, your average weekly income is worked out using your weekly average assessable earnings in the 2 month period before you make your claim.

If your spouse / partner is self-employed, his / her income over the 12 month period before the claim is made (divided by 52), is used to work out his / her average weekly income.

However, where it is considered more appropriate, a Deciding Officer or an Appeals Officer may calculate your weekly income on the basis of some other period.

7. How Much Can You Get?

Your FIS payment is 60% of the difference between your average weekly family income and the income limit for your family size.

Example 1 (Based on Income limits from 3 January 2002)

If your have 3 children and your weekly family income is €300, your FIS payment is calculated as follows:
Income Limit €413.00
Your Income €300.00
Difference €113.00
Weekly FIS Payment 60% of €113 €67.80
Rounded up to €68.00

Example 2 (Based on Income limits from 3 January 2002)

If you have 2 children and your fortnightly income from JOBSHARING is €380, your FIS payment is calculated as follows:
Income Limit €388.00
Your Income (€ 380 ÷ 2) €190.00
Difference €198.00
Weekly FIS Payment 60% of €198 €118.80
Rounded up to €119.00

Uneven amounts are rounded up to the nearest €1


If you qualify for a weekly FIS payment of less than €13 per week, a weekly supplement of €13 is payable.

8. How is FIS Paid?
FIS is paid by a book of payable orders which can be cashed weekly at a Post Office chosen by you. If you are not able to collect your FIS payment you can nominate someone, aged 18 or over, to collect your payment on your behalf.

FIS is normally paid from the first Thursday after your application form (FIS 1) is received by FIS Section.

In December each year, FIS Payable Order Books expire for everyone getting FIS. You should remember to collect your FIS renewal book in December at your nominated Post Office.

9. How Long is FIS Paid For?
FIS is paid for 52 weeks while you remain employed for at least 19 hours per week or 38 hours per fortnight. During this time the rate of supplement is not affected by any change in family circumstances (other than an additional child), weekly income or periods claiming Disability Benefit for up to 6 weeks.

At the end of the 52 weeks, you should re-apply for FIS if you think you are still eligible.

However, there are some changes in circumstances which will affect entitlement to payment. You will be notified of these circumstances on the back of the letter informing you that you have been awarded FIS. They are also on the back of your FIS payment book. You should contact us immediately if any of these circumstances occur.

10. Can I Get FIS if I am Getting Another Social Welfare Payment?

If you are a lone parent on low earnings you may be entitled to FIS in addition to your One-Parent Family Payment, Deserted Wife's Benefit or Widow's or Widower's (Contributory) Pension. If you are getting a Back to Work Allowance as an employee, you may qualify for a FIS payment.

If you are getting FIS and you become ill, the supplement can be paid with Disability Benefit for up to 6 weeks.

FIS is NOT payable if you are participating in a Community Employment Scheme or other FÁS schemes (except Job Initiative and Social Economy Programme).

FIS is not payable if you are getting:

Unemployment Benefit / Assistance*
Retirement Pension*, or
Pre-Retirement Allowance*
if you are included on your spouse / partner's claim as a qualified adult.
* (If your spouse / partner is getting one of these payments, you may still qualify. However, his / her social welfare payment will be assessed as income.)

11. Extra Benefits
If you are getting FIS you may also be entitled to:

Smokeless Fuel Allowance
If you are living in certain urban areas* where the sale of bituminous coal is banned. This allowance is payable for 29 weeks from early October to late April.
* Arklow, Celbridge, Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Leixlip, Limerick, Naas,Waterford City and Wexford Town.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance
This scheme is administered by the Health Boards and you should make further enquiries at your local Health Centre.

12. When to Apply
Do not delay in sending in your claim form as you could lose money.

If you are taking up work and think you will be eligible for FIS, you should apply AS SOON AS YOU TAKE UP THE JOB even if you cannot complete the full details on the claim form. That way you will avoid any loss of the supplement

If you are starting employment for the first time or re-entering employment, you should contact your tax office for advice regarding your Tax Free Allowance. Otherwise, please read information leaflet IT 11 (available from an Office of the Revenue Commissioners) to ensure that you currently have a correct Tax Free Allowance.

Complete the claim form FIS 1 and return it in the FREEPOST envelope supplied. To help us deal with your claim quickly please make sure that you include with your claim form:

your latest P60
2 recent payslips
a copy of your Tax Free Allowance Certificate for the current tax year.

13. How to Apply
To apply, complete claim form (FIS 1) and send it to:

Family Income Supplement Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road

Tel: Longford (043) 45211 Dublin (01) 704 3000

14. More Information
For further details about Family Income Supplement (FIS) contact Family Income Supplement Section at the address above.

Information on Social Welfare Services is available on the Internet at and AERTEL, RTEs teletext service.

Points to Note
Your FIS payment is not subject to Tax. Your entitlement to a Medical Card is not affected.

Other Leaflets which may be of interest are:
Smokeless Fuel Allowance SW 19
Rates of Payment Booklet SW 17A
Child Benefit SW 42
Supplementary Welfare Allowance SW 54
Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance SW 75

This booklet is intended as a guide only and does not purport to be a legal interpretation

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