- What is the One-Parent Family Payment?
- What changes are being made to the scheme in 2013?
- Will the payment rates be affected by the changes to the scheme?
- Will customers be notified of 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. The person must also have main care and charge of at least one child who is 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 2013?
A. The age reductions in the One-Parent Family Payment which were due to apply from the beginning of 2013 and 2014 are being deferred to the beginning of July in each of those years. In addition, the period over which the transitional arrangements applying to existing recipients are to apply, will be extended from the end of 2014 to the beginning of July 2015. This change will provide more time for the creation of additional childcare places.
The earnings disregard for people working and getting One-Parent Family Payment is being reduced to €110 per week (from €130). This change was announced in Budget 2012 and will apply to all customers from January 2013.
||From 4 July 2013
||From 3 July 2014
||From 2 July 2015|
|If OFP payment commenced before 27 April 2011
|If OFP payment commenced between 27 April 2011 and 2 May 2012
|If OFP payment commenced on or after 3 May 2012
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 have an entitlement to 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. Will customers be notified of the changes to the scheme?
A. Yes, all existing customers will be written to in prior to July 2013 telling them about the changes to the scheme. They will be written to again when their child is reaching the cut off age for receipt of OFP advising them of other payments they might be entitled to and telling them who to contact for further information.
Q5. 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
Q6. 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 the 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.
Q7. 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).
Q8. 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 locally-based Facilitators. These can be contacted through the Department's local offices. Facilitators 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 FÁS, the vocational education committees (VECs), other education and training providers and the local community and voluntary sector.
Q9. 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 (9am to 9pm) or drop in to your Social Welfare Local Office or Citizens Information Centre or email email@example.com.
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