Does your child live with you or elsewhere?

If your child does not sleep at your home for 4 nights a week, your child is regarded as ‘living away from home’. You can still get child benefit, but only if you contribute at least €433 per quarter to your child’s support.  

In some situations, your child is not regarded as ‘living away from home’. Read more about these situations. 

‘Living at home’ or ‘living away from home’

Choose the option that best describes your child's situation and see whether your child is ‘living at home’ or ‘living away from home’.

If your child is on holiday or has gone travelling for a few months, they are not regarded as living away from home. 

Sometimes there is a reason why a child has to live somewhere else temporarily. For example, they could go to live with a foster family or in an institution. In these situations, your child is regarded as living away from home, even if it is only for a short time. 

If the hospital stay is less than 6 months, your child is regarded as living at home. 

If the stay lasts more than 6 months, your child's situation will change from ‘living at home’ to ‘living away from home’. 

If it is clear at the beginning that your child will be in hospital for more than 6 months, your child is regarded as living away from home as from the 1st day in hospital.

Child benefit is paid to the parent who lives with the child. If you are co-parenting, half of the child benefit can be paid to you and half to the other parent.

If your child is not living at home with you, but you and/or the other parent stay with your child for at least 46 days in a quarter, your child will be regarded as ‘living at home’ for that quarter.

The days that each parent visits the child in a particular quarter are added together. This includes visits that start in one quarter and finish in the next quarter.

Conditions for child benefit for a child living away from home

You can get child benefit for a child living away from home if you contribute at least €433 per quarter to your child's support. This is called ‘costs of support’. 

Child benefit at twice the basic rate for a child living away from home

If your child is living away from home for education reasons, or because of illness or disability, you can get child benefit at twice the basic rate in some situations.