One-Parent Family Payment

How to know if you’re eligible and how to apply for it

Written by spunout


One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is a financial support you may be eligible for if you are raising your child without support from a partner. There are certain criteria you need to meet to be entitled to it.

Read more about social welfare supports for parents.

What is One-Parent Family Payment?

One-Parent Family Payment is a weekly social welfare support that parents can receive if they are raising their child on their own. If you have a child and are not living with a partner or spouse, you may be entitled to this payment.

Am I eligible for One-Parent Family Payment?

Before you can get this social welfare payment, you:

  • Must be the main carer of your child
  • Must not be living with a partner or spouse
  • Satisfy the means test
  • Be the parent of at least one child under seven years of age or meet one of the age limit exceptions listed below

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 three 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

Age limit exceptions

In order to be eligible for OFP, you must be the parent to at least one child under seven years of age. However, there are some exceptions to this age limit.

You can qualify for OFP for your child up to the age of 16 if you are getting Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA), provided you meet the other conditions of the payment.

You can also keep your OFP if you are providing full-time care for one of your children or for an adult (such as a parent or a sibling), and also claim half-rate Carer’s Allowance if your youngest child is under 16 years of age.

If you are parenting alone because of the death of your spouse, partner or civil partner, you may get OFP for two years from the date of their death if your youngest child is under 18.

People who qualify for Blind Pension are automatically exempt from the OFP age limits.

Receiving other social welfare supports

You can still claim One-Parent Family Payment if:

  • You are 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 personal weekly payment is €232, plus the rate for any qualified child(ren).

Your local social welfare office will assess your income and give you a more accurate figure.

Weekly OFP rate for qualified children:

  • For children under 12: €46
  • For children over 12: €54

How does the means test work?

The means test is used to measure how much income you have. If your income is higher than a certain amount, you won’t be able to claim OFP.

Your income is your wages from work and any other social welfare payments. If you are receiving maintenance, the first €95.23 of rent or mortgages costs can be offset against maintenance and half of the balance of maintenance you receive will be deducted from your payment.

The first €165 of your weekly earnings is ignored and not taken into account. The remaining half of your income per week is assessed as means and you may qualify for a reduced payment. So that means:

  • If you earn under €165 per week you will qualify for full OFP
  • If you earn over €165 a week, you may qualify for a reduced OFP, but the exact amount will vary depending on how much you earn

New rental disregard

A new law came into effect as of 12 July 2022 that allows for up to €269.23 per week (€14,000 per year) worth of rental income from renting out a room (or rooms) in your home to someone who is not an employee or an immediate family member. See Means Assessment Operational Guidelines for more details.

How can I apply for One-Parent Family Payment?

If you are single, you should apply for OFP within the first three months of the birth of your baby. If you are separated, divorced or no longer in a civil partnership, you should apply within three to six months of the date you separated from your spouse or civil partner.

To apply for OFP, you need to fill in this One-Parent Family Payment form and post it to your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.

You can have your payment paid directly into your bank account or arrange to collect it at the post office.

Find out more about One-Parent Family payment.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

Our work is supported by