You should complete application form OFP 1 and send it with the relevant certificates and documents to your local Social Welfare Office.
If you are unmarried or a person who is not a party to a civil partnership you should apply within 3 months of the birth of your child.
If you are separated or divorced or your civil partnership has been dissolved you should apply within 6 months of the date you separated from your spouse or civil partner.
However, you must be separated for 3 months before you apply, as you cannot get a payment for the first 3 months after a separation.
If you are a prisoner’s spouse or civil partner you may apply when your spouse or civil partner has been in custody for at least 6 months without being sentenced, or starts their sentence, which must be for at least 6 months.
Warning: If you fail to apply within 3 months of becoming eligible for One-Parent Family Payment, you may lose some payment.