Key Post Guide to claiming One-parent Family Payments

Welfarite

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I'm a lone parent. What are my entitlements on Social Welfare?

The main scheme for lone parents is called the One-parent Family Payment (OFP), which used to be called Lone Parent's Allowance and Unmarried Mother's Allowance. This is a payment for men and women who are bringing children up without the support of a partner. It's payable to an unmarried person, a widowed person, prisoner's spouse, a separated or divorced person, or one whose marriage has been annulled.
To get this payment you must meet certain conditions and you must satisfy a means test. If you are divorced or unmarried, you must also have attempted to get maintenance from the child's other parent (father or mother).

How do I go about claiming?

You can download and fill in the application form. Social Welfare Local Offices now process most OFP claims so you can also send/drop in the completed application to them. Alternatively, you could send it with the relevant supporting documents to the Department of Social and Family Affairs, Pension Services Office, College Road, Sligo.

How do I get paid?

You can have your payment paid directly into your bank account or collect your money at your local post office.

What are the main conditions for getting OFP?

You must satisfy a means test and be habitually resident in the state. You cannot be cohabiting (that is, living with someone as husband and wife).
If you are separated or divorced you must have been separated for at least three months, have made efforts to get maintenance from your spouse or be inadequately maintained by your spouse.
If you are unmarried you must seek maintenance from the other parent of your child(ren). Be aware that you will have to provide evidence of these efforts to get maintenance and Social Welfare may contact the father of your child(ren) when investigating your claim.

What is involved in the claim investigation?

Most claims are investigated by an inspector calling (usually unnotified) to your home. They will ask questions regarding your means, your efforts to get maintenance, the members of your household and investigate for evidence of co-habitation. This might entail more than one visit.

What do I do for money while I'm waiting for a decision on my claim?

You can go to your local Community Welfare Officer and apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

Are there any other benefits or allowances I can claim?

The Household Budget Scheme can help you manage your bills. You may also be eligible for Fuel Allowance. Also, you may be entitled to a medical card,

I'm working full-time. Can I still get One-parent Family Payment?

Yes, provided your earnings are under €425 per week. The first €146.50 of your gross weekly earnings is not taken into account as means so you can earn up to €146.50 per week and qualify for the full One-Parent Family Payment. Half the remainder of your gross earnings up to €425 per week is assessed as means. If you earn between €146.50 and €425 per week you may qualify for a reduced payment (Social insurance contributions, health contributions, superannuation contributions and trade union subscriptions are not taken into account in the assessment of earnings.) If you are already getting OFP and you find a job earning over €425 per week, you can retain your OFP for 6 months after you start work. You may also have an entitlement to Family Income Supplement if you are working over 19 hours a week.

What about help in paying my rent or mortgage?

You can apply to your local community Welfare Officer for Rent Supplement or Mortgage Interest Supplement.

THIS POST IS INTENDED AS A GUIDE ONLY. No responsibility is accepted by the author or AAM for any errors, omissions or misleading statements or any site to which this post connects.
 
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Ildánach

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As of 27th April 2011 the rules for OPFP are changing, although the disregards, means test and co-habitation rules remain unchanged.

http://www.welfare.ie/EN/Schemes/BirthChildrenAndFamilies/OneParentFamilies/Pages/OPFPChanges_270411.aspx

Changes to the One-Parent Family Payment
The Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2010, which was enacted on 21 July 2010, provided for significant reforms to the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP). These changes will come into effect from 27 April 2011.
For all new customers, from 27 April 2011 the OFP will be paid until the youngest child in the family reaches the age of 14 years.

  • If you are in receipt of a Domiciliary Care Allowance for a child, the OFP will continue until the child reaches the age of 16 years and can claim Disability Allowance in their own right.

  • There will be a special provision for those who are recently bereaved (for married, in a civil partnership and co-habiting persons), with no children under the age of 14 years (or within 2 years of reaching their 14th birthday). They will be able to claim the OFP for a period of up to 2 years, from the date of death of their spouse, partner or cohabitant until their youngest child reaches the age of 18 years, to enable them to come to terms with their changed circumstances.

  • Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be paid in the year that the OFP claim ends because your youngest child reaches the age of 14 years. This is subject to you meeting the other qualifying conditions for receipt of that payment – e.g. the means test.

  • Where there is an entitlement to the OFP based on the age of the youngest child in your family, an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) in respect of other children in the family who are aged 14 years and over will continue, as in other schemes, until the child reaches the age of 18 years – or 22 years if in full-time education.

  • When the OFP payment stops, if you are still in need of income support you may be eligible for another social welfare payment, such as a Jobseeker's payment or Family Income Supplement, if you are in employment of more than 19 hours per week and below the relevant income threshold.


For existing customers, there will be no change to your OFP entitlement for the years 2011 and 2012, provided that you continue to satisfy the conditions of payment. The age limit for receipt of payment will then reduce on an annual basis, to age 14 in 2016, as follows:

    • From January 2013, payment will stop when your youngest child reaches 17 years of age. If the child is in full-time education, and aged between 17 and 22 years, payment will continue until the end of the 2012-2013 academic year.
    • From January 2014, payment will stop when your youngest child reaches 16 years of age.
    • From January 2015, payment will stop when your youngest child reaches 15 years of age.
    • From January 2016 and beyond, payment will stop when the youngest child reaches 14 years of age.
  • As an existing customer if you stop claiming OFP before January 2016:
    • to participate in the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) scheme; OR
    • because your earnings exceed the qualifying earnings limit for the scheme, you can reapply for OFP during that period based on the age conditions set out above. For example, if your youngest child is age 13 years and you leave OFP in September 2011 to participate in the BTEA, and if you make another claim for OFP in June 2013 (when your child is 15 years of age), you will continue to receive payment as long as you meet the age conditions set out above and any other qualifying conditions for receipt of OFP.
  • Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be paid in the year that the OFP claim ends either because your youngest child reaches the age of 14 years, or goes over the specified age during the 6 year transition period. This is subject to you meeting the other qualifying conditions for receipt of that payment – e.g. the means test.

  • When your OFP payment stops, if you are still in need of income support you may be eligible for another social welfare payment, such as a Jobseeker's payment or Family Income Supplement, if you are in employment of more than 19 hours per week and below the relevant income threshold.

  • 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.

  • The Department also operates the Back-to-Education Allowance (BTEA) scheme. It is a second-chance education opportunities scheme that enables eligible people on social welfare to continue to receive their payment while pursuing an approved full-time education course that leads to a higher qualification than that already held.

  • FÁS - Currently, all lone parents who present themselves to FÁS Employment Services are provided with a one-to-one guidance interview with an Employment Services Officer. As part of this process, lone parents are advised on suitable labour market opportunities such as current work vacancies and suitable training/employment programme places and may be referred to other FÁS supports.
For further information on OFP and these changes, visit 'www.welfare.ie', LoCall our Information Line 1890 66 22 44 (9am to 5pm),or Locall Citizens Information Phone Service 1890 777 121 (9am to 9pm) or drop in to your Social Welfare Local Office or Citizens Information Centre or email info@welfare.ie.
 
L

Leanne

Guest
Hi,

I'm wondering can anybody help me. Im claiming one parent family and i'm a student in a universtiy studying spanish. Therefore, next year as part of my course i go to spain to study for around 9 months, will i be entitled to anything?
 

Lish86

Registered User
Messages
1
Hello

I am currently receiving Jobseekers allowance for more than a year now and I have recently applied for one parent payment and back to education allowance at the same time. I haven't received any response from the DSP regarding my application. Do I contact them or just wait?
 
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