One-Parent Family Payment
How to know if you're eligible and how to apply for it
What is One-Parent Family Payment?
One-Parent Family Payment is an extra payment you may be eligible for if you’re a single parent. There are certain criteria you need to meet to be entitled to it.
What are the criteria?
To get the One-Parent Family Payment you:
- Have to have at least one child below a certain age limit.
- Must be the main carer of your child.
- Must not be living with a partner or spouse.
- Satisfy the means test.
You can still claim One-Parent Family Payment if:
- You’re receiving child benefit.
- You have the child’s father’s name on the birth cert.
- You are living at home with your family.
- You are still at school or college.
- You are working.
So what is the age limit of the child?
Well, it depends. Recently, the One-Parent Family Payment has gone through some changes, and it depends whether you were receiving the payment before those changes were made or not.
- From July 2015, everyone will stop receiving One-Family Payment when their youngest child turns 7.
- If you've only recently applied for One-Parent Family Payment, you'll continue to receive it until your youngest child turns 7.
- If you are already claiming One-Parent Family Payment, if your youngest child is still under 10 but older than 7, and if your claim started between 27 April 2011 and 2 May 2012, you will continue to receive your claim until July 2015.
- If you are already claiming One-Parent Family Payment, if your youngest child is still under 16 but older than 7, and if your claim started before 27 April 2011, you will continue to receive your claim until July 2015.
And how does the means test work?
The means test is to measure how much income you have. If your income is higher than a certain amount, you won’t be able to claim One-Parent Family Payment.
Your income is your wages from work and any other social welfare payments. If you are receiving maintenance, half of the amount of maintenance you receive will be deducted from your One-Parent Family Payment. The first €90 of your weekly earnings is totally ignored and not taken into account. The remaining half of your income up to €425 is counted. So that means:
- If you earn under €90 you will qualify for full One-Parent Family Payment.
- If you earn between €90 and €425 a week, you will qualify for a reduced One-Parent Family Payment. The exact amount will vary, depending on how much you earn.
- If you earn over €425, you won’t qualify for One-Parent Family Payment.
For example: Ciara has one child and is applying for One-Parent Family Payment. She earns €85 a week from part-time work. This is under €90, so she’s eligible for full One-Parent Family Payment. Yay! However, she also receives €150 in maintenance every week from her baby’s Dad. Half of your maintenance is deducted from your One-Parent Family Payment, so this means €75 is deducted from Ciara's payment every week.
How much actually is it?
Depending on your income, One-Parent Family Payment is anywhere between €3 and €188, with an additional €29.80 for every child who is under the age limit. Your local social welfare office will assess your income and give you a more accurate figure.
Ok great! How can I apply for it?
If you’re single, you should apply within the first 3 months of the birth of your baby.
If you are separated, divorced or no longer in a civil partnership, you should apply within 6 months of the date you separated from your spouse or civil partner. You must be separated for 3 months before you can apply.
You can have your payment paid directly into your bank account or arrange to collect it at the post office.