- What is the One-Parent Family Payment?
- What changes are being made to the scheme in 2015?
- Will the payment rates be affected by the changes to the scheme?
- I have a child with a disability whom I care for at home. How will the changes to the scheme affect my payment?
- If my partner dies and I have two children aged 15 and 17, what income supports will I be entitled to?
- Am I entitled to any other income supports once my claim ceases?
- What educational, training and back-to-employment opportunities are available to me as a lone parent?
- Who can I contact about the changes to the One-Parent Family Payment scheme?
Q1. What is the One-Parent Family Payment?
A. The One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is a means-tested payment for men and women who are bringing up a child – or children – without the support of a partner. A claimant must be separated, divorced, have a dissolved civil partnership, widowed, a surviving civil partner, unmarried or be a prisoner's spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. To qualify for One-Parent Family Payment a person must also have main care and charge of child(ren) who is (are) residing with them, not be co-habiting with someone and have made efforts to seek maintenance from the other parent of the child.
Q2. What changes are being made to the scheme in July 2015?
A. From 2nd July 2015 OFP ceases when the youngest child reaches 7 years. Where a customer qualifies for OFP, an increase for a qualified child is payable in respect of the other children in the family under 18 years, and between 18-22 years if in full-time education.
Special provisions may apply:
- Where Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is in payment
Where a customer is in receipt of DCA for any child in the family, One-Parent Family payment may continue up to the 16th birthday of the child in respect of whom DCA remains in payment
until the youngest child reaches the relevant qualifying age whichever is later.
- Where a person is recently bereaved
Where a person is recently bereaved they can claim One-Parent Family Payment for up to two years from the date of death of the spouse/civil partner/cohabitant or until their youngest child reaches 18 years of age, whichever is earlier.
Q3. Will the payment rates be affected by the changes to the scheme?
A. No. The personal rate will continue to be €188.00 per week – with a further €29.80 for each additional qualified child.
If you qualify for OFP based on the age of the youngest child in your family (and subject to meeting other conditions of the payment), payment of an increase for a qualified child (IQC) will continue for other children in the family until they reach 18 years or 22 years if they are in full-time education.
Q4. I have a child with a disability whom I care for at home. How will the changes to the scheme affect my payment?
A. If you are in receipt of the Domiciliary Care Allowance for your child, the OFP will continue to be paid to you until your child reaches the age of 16 – at which point he or she can claim Disability Allowance in their own right
Q5. If my partner dies and I have two children aged 15 and 17, what income supports will I be entitled to?
A. If you are recently bereaved (having been married, cohabiting or in a civil partnership), you can claim OFP for a period of up to 2 years from the date of death of your spouse / civil partner / co-habitant, or until your youngest child reaches the age of 18, in order to enable you to come to terms with your changed circumstances.
Q6. Am I entitled to any other income supports once my claim ceases?
A. Yes. If you are still in need of income support, you may be eligible to claim Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance, or, if you are in low-paid employment of more than 19 hours per week and earning below the relevant income threshold you could claim Family Income Supplement (FIS)( see Note). You may also claim the Back-to-School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (subject to you meeting the other qualifying conditions for the receipt of that payment).
Q7. What educational, training and back-to-employment opportunities are available to me as a lone parent?
A. The Department of Social Protection operates a range of employment support services that are designed to encourage and to support social welfare recipients of working age, including lone parents, to return to work. These services are provided through the Department's network of Intreo Centres . Case Officers can work with you to help you to identify appropriate training or development programmes that will enhance your skills. They work in close co-operation with other agencies and service providers including Solas, the Educational & Training Boards ETB’s, other education and training providers and the local community and voluntary sector.
Q8. Who can I contact about the changes to the One-Parent Family Payment scheme?
A. For further information on OFP and these changes, visit 'www.welfare.ie', LoCall our Information Line 1890 66 22 44 (9am to 5pm),or Citizens Information Phone Service 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm) or drop in to your Social Welfare Local Office or Citizens Information Centre or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note – you can claim Family Income Supplement while you are receiving OFP. If your payment of OFP ends, the amount of FIS you are receiving may increase.