One-Parent Family Payment
How to know if you're eligible and how to apply for it
One-Parent Family Payment is an extra payment you may be eligible for if you’re a single parent raising a child without support from a partner. There are certain criteria you need to meet to be entitled to it.
Am I entitled to the One-Parent Family Payment?
There are a few conditions you will have to meet before you can get the One-Parent Family Payment.
To get the One-Parent Family Payment you:
- Must be the main carer of your child
- Must not be living with a partner or spouse
- Must earn a total of €425 or less (gross) per week from insurable employment or self-employment
- Satisfy the means test
If you are separated, divorced or your civil partnership is dissolved you must:
- Have been living apart from your spouse or civil partner for at least 3 months
- Have made efforts to get maintenance from your spouse or civil partner, if they are the parent of the child
- Be inadequately maintained by your spouse or civil partner, if they are the parent of the child
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
How much is the One-Parent Family Payment?
How much you will receive depends on your income. The maximum payment is €198, 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.
Weekly rate for qualified children:
- For children under 12: €34
- For children over 12: €37
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 €150 of your weekly earnings is ignored and not taken into account (this is known as earnings disregard). The remaining half of your income up to €425 per week is counted. So that means:
- If you earn under €150 per week you will qualify for full One-Parent Family Payment
- If you earn between €150 and €425 a week, you may qualify for a reduced One-Parent Family Payment, but 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 €95 a week from part-time work. This is under €150, so she’s eligible for full One-Parent Family Payment. 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 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, although 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