Constituency Sinn Fein Deputy calls for continuous child benefit teen payments

Sinn Féin TD for Longford Westmeath Sorca Clarke has called on the government to pay child benefit in respect of 16-18 year olds over the summer months, after many families expecting the payment in recent times did not receive it.

“Last year due to school closures, child benefit continued to be paid in respect of 16-18 year olds during the school holidays given the difficulties posed by Covid-19. This was a vital lifeline for many families in Westmeath and across the State, as it provided much-needed financial support.

“This year, parents were not informed that this would not happen again this summer and that instead, a form signed by the school was required in order for child benefit to continue to be paid.

“Schools are now closed for the summer and parents are unable to get the necessary form signed. This is an appalling situation, which will see the finances of thousands of ordinary families suffer.

“The government must take direct and urgent steps to address this and ensure this crucial money is not withheld from families who need it.

“My colleague, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has written to the Social Protection Minister asking her to ensure that child benefit is payable to all parents with children aged 16-18 until school resumes at the end of August/September. At this stage, the forms can be signed and returned to the Department of Social Protection.

“Child benefit is a critical source of income for families, especially to support older children. It is also relied on heavily by many parents in order to meet back-to-school costs, a costly time for parents.

“Sinn Féin will stand up for families and hold the government to account on this. Families who need this important support must continue to receive it.”


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