Minister Doherty urges new fathers to claim Paternity Benefit
As the first anniversary of the introduction of paternity benefit approaches, Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has launched an awareness campaign to encourage new or expectant fathers to apply for the two weeks payment from her Department. Employed and self-employed fathers with the correct PRSI contributions are entitled to receive paternity benefit.
Paternity benefit is available from the Department of Social Protection to parents of children born or placed in adoption. Currently, it is payable at a minimum rate of €235 per week for two weeks for employees and self-employed people who are on paternity leave from work. It is available for up to 26 weeks after the child’s birth or adoption placement and is also available to same sex couples.
Minister Doherty said: “The purpose of paternity benefit is to support new fathers to take time off work within the first 26 weeks following the birth of their child.
“New parents can choose to apply online for paternity benefit if they have a Public Services Card. Applications made online benefit from an automated decision process, where all conditions are fulfilled the person concerned will receive an award notification within seconds. Alternatively, anyone experiencing difficulty with making an online claim can contact my Department by e-mail and will receive a paper form. Full details are available on the Departments website; http://www.welfare.ie/paternitybenefit.
“I would strongly urge all eligible parents to consider applying for paternity benefit when they take paternity leave. It is a precious time for new parents and the Department recognises how important this stage of family life is for parents.
“It is important that we continue to work to eliminate barriers to employment and education so as to ensure that we can deliver a Republic of opportunity that is fair to all – paternity benefit is a small but powerful support for young families in achieving just that.
“This Government continues to prioritise the introduction of universal measures such as paternity benefit, affordable childcare and back to school allowances, with a view to supporting every family in this Republic. ”