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Am-I-Entitled-To-Single-Parent-Allowance

Am I Entitled To Single Parent Allowance?

You are entitled to a weekly one-parent family payment (OFP) if you satisfy the following conditions:

  • Be the parent, step-parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian of the relevant child(ren). 
  • Be the main carer of at least one child below 7 years of age. The child must live with you. OFP is not payable if the parents have joint equal custody of a child or children.
  • Have gross earnings from insurable employment or self-employment of €425 or less per week.
  • Satisfy a means testing.
  • Be habitually resident in Ireland.
  • Not be living with a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting.

If you are separated or divorced you must:

  • Have been living apart for at least 3 months. This does not apply to cohabitants.
  • Have made efforts to get maintenance from your spouse or civil partner (if your civil partner is the parent of the child/ren).
  • Be inadequately maintained by your spouse or civil partner (if your civil partner is the parent of the child/ren).

If you are unmarried you will:

  • Need to make efforts to seek maintenance from the other parent to continue to be eligible for OFP.

The one-parent family payment is payable regardless of your age, and whether or not you are living at home with your family. Apply for the one-parent family payment as soon as possible after the birth of your baby. A social welfare officer from the Department of Social Community and Family Affairs will visit you to assess your situation.

It'll take some time for your application to be dealt with but in the meantime if you have no other income, you can claim supplementary welfare allowance from the community welfare officer in your local health centre. This payment will be less than the one-parent family payment, but you will receive whatever back-pay is due. 

Maintenance

When you apply for the one-parent family payment, you will be asked to try to get maintenance from the other parent, whether or not the name of the other parent is on the birth certificate. This is known as the 'efforts' condition.

Regular maintenance payments received from the other parent will be taken into account in your means test, and the payment will be reduced by the amount of maintenance you receive. However, if you are paying rent or a mortgage payment, your housing costs of up to €95.23 per week will not be taken into account.

However, maintenance will affect any rent allowance you are receiving. An unmarried parent claiming One-Parent Family Payment will be required to seek maintenance from the other parent and the OFP will be reduced accordingly, if maintenance is paid.

Other benefits

If you are receiving the one-parent family payment, you may also qualify for:

  • Fuel allowance
  • Family Income Supplement
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme
  • A Medical card

To find out more about the One-Parent Family Payment, and your entitlements, go to www.citizensinformation.ie


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eumom team 

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