Over 500 families awarded new State payment
More than 500 families have received cash payments under the Government's Back-to-Work family dividend, one of the Labour Party's key pledges in October's Budget.
Figures released by the Department of Social Protection show 508 families have been awarded the payment in the past fortnight, supporting 1,031 children directly.
Under the incentive, unemployed people who are going back to work after a long period on social welfare keep a €30-a-week payment for each of their children for the first year.
This change is worth €1,550 a year per child, or €4,650 for a family with three children.
In the second year of work, families will be able to get half the allowance or over €750 per child.
The department says 3,000 families could benefit from the scheme and is writing to them to remind them of their entitlements.
A further 186 applications are currently being processed.
Minister of State at the department Kevin Humphreys said the applicants are spaced out across the country.
"Looking at figures across the country, I am encouraged to see the number of people benefiting. In Waterford 24 families are already receiving this payment having secured employment, while 20 have been successful in Tallaght," he said.