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1.18 Who is a 'Prescribed Child' for the Purposes of the SRCA?


Section 4(1) of the SRCA defines a 'prescribed child', thus:

4(1) 'prescribed child' means:

a)a person under 16, or

b)a person who:

(i)is 16 or more but under 25

(ii)is receiving full time education at a school, college, university or other educational institution, and

(iii)is not ordinarily in employment or engaged in work on his or her own account.

Being a prescribed child has no significance of itself.  In the context of death benefits it is only relevant to whether the child of a deceased member is entitled to a weekly payment (see 4.10) and to whether a person's child can be deemed to be wholly dependent because they were living with the deceased immediately before the death (see 1.13).  Otherwise, it is sufficient to be entitled to death benefits if a person who was wholly or partly dependent on the deceased was their 'child'.

Note that:

  • dependants under 16 remain 'prescribed children' regardless of their situation re: education or employment and a person over 25 can not be a 'prescribed child' under any circumstances
  • between 16 and 25, 'prescribed child' status depends on the receipt of full time education at a recognised institution (on-the-job vocational traineeship with a potential employer would not be acceptable)
  • a 'prescribed child' under 25 who had previously surrendered that status by leaving education, may subsequently re-qualify as 'prescribed' – i.e. by again leaving work and taking up a full-time tertiary course
  • the phrase 'engaged in work on his or her own account' means that delegates should not exclude children who at the date of death had part time employment during a period of full time study from receiving lump sum payments or the weekly payment under S17(5). This also includes working or helping out part time in the family business or who perform unpaid work on the family farm, etc. These individuals, although they may be considered to be working, are not earning on their own account.

Persons over the age of 16 who are alleged to be Prescribed Children must demonstrate:

a)That they are under the age of 25 – a copy of the birth certificate is required from all children claiming any sort of death benefit, but particularly Ss17(5).

b)That they are enrolled full-time at a school, college, university or other educational institution – a copy of the enrolment documents is required to substantiate this.