The social welfare system treats spouses, civil partners and cohabitants in the same way for the purposes of determining entitlement to income support and other payments. The full range of social protection schemes are available to unmarried couples with children on the same basis as married couples with children.
The Working Family Payment, for example, is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children. The combined income of a couple (married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting) is taken into account when calculating income limits and rates of payment.
Information about the range of schemes and services operated by the Department is available at a customer’s local Intreo Centre or Citizens Information Centre or on the Department's website www.welfare.ie .