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“Ireland Extends Child Benefit to 18-Year-Old Disabled Students in Education Support Measure”

Dublin: The Irish government has made a significant decision to extend child benefit benefits to 18-year-old students with disabilities. Approved by the cabinet, this measure aims to support students in full-time education starting from May 1.

The child benefit, amounting to €140 per month, will now be accessible to 18-year-old students, particularly those studying at the second level. This move comes as families facing financial challenges struggle to meet the substantial expenses associated with their children’s education, often resulting in students discontinuing their studies. In response, the government has prioritised assistance for such families, with Social Security Minister Humphreys expected to introduce a new bill with amendments later this week.

Minister Heather Humphreys highlighted that this decision will directly benefit approximately 60,000 families. Originally slated for implementation in September, the government has accelerated the timeline to commence the support from May onwards.

With the rising costs of education and living expenses for teenagers, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar emphasised the government’s recognition of these challenges by modifying the child benefit scheme.

Louise Bayliss, founder of Spark, lauded the government’s initiative, noting its significant impact on financially disadvantaged children. The decision is particularly welcomed as it addresses the alarming trend of students dropping out of school in their final year due to financial constraints, thus marking a pivotal change.

The tendency for students to leave school prematurely, often resorting to alternative services like Youth Reach due to financial pressures, has exacerbated the issue of poverty within many families. The extension of child benefits aims to alleviate these challenges and provide crucial support to families navigating the financial burdens of education.

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