Know Your Rights: One Parent Family Payment

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public… 

What is the One-Parent Family Payment?

The One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is a payment for men and women under 66 who are bringing children up without the support of a partner. To get OFP your children must be under a certain age.

You can work and get OFP. However, to get OFP your income must be below a certain amount.

How does one qualify for the One-Parent Family Payment?

To qualify for the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) you must:

• Be aged under 66
• Be the parent, step-parent, adoptive parent or legal guardian of a child under a certain age.
• Be the main carer of at least one child under the age limit. The child must live with you. OFP is not paid if the parents have joint equal custody of a child or children.
Pass a means test – a means test looks at any income that you have
• Live in Ireland and meet the habitual residence condition
• Not be living with a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting

Continued below…


What is the Age Limit for a child?

To get the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) you must have at least one child under 7 years of age. You may get OFP for a child aged 7 or over if you are getting Domiciliary Care Allowance, half-rate Carer’s Allowance or Blind Pension or after the death of a spouse, partner or civil partner

What happens when my child is over the age limit? 

Your OFP will stop when your youngest child reaches the age limit. The Department of Social Protection (DSP) will inform you of the end date for your payment.

You may get the Jobseeker’s Transitional payment. This is a payment for people parenting alone whose children are aged between 7 and 13.

You can get information and advice about your options from your local Social Welfare Branch Office or Citizens Information Centre.

How is my income from work treated in the means-test for OPFP?

The first €165 of your gross weekly earnings (wages and profit from self-employment) is not taken into account in the means test.

Half the remainder of your gross earnings per week is assessed as means and you may get a reduced rate of OFP.

Social insurance contributions, superannuation/PRSA contributions and trade union subscriptions are not taken into account when calculating your gross earnings.

You can contact your local Citizens Information Centre or Social Welfare office for advice on how your income from work would impact the level of OPFP you can receive..

How will the maintenance I receive be treated in the means test for OPFP? 

Maintenance payments for you and maintenance to you for any of your children is assessed in the means test.

If you are getting maintenance from more than one person, all the payments are added together and the total is assessed. However, only half of your income from maintenance will be deducted from your OFP.

If you have housing costs, your rent or mortgage repayment up to a maximum of €95.23 per week can be offset against maintenance payments. Half the balance is then assessed as means. You must provide proof of rent or mortgage payments

Can I receive OPFP if I decide to  go to college?

You can keep your One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) if you are in education. You may have the option to transfer to the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) or to stay on your current payment and apply for a student grant.

You can contact your local Citizens Information Centre or Social Welfare office for advice on which option is of greatest benefit to you. You cannot get BTEA and a student grant together.

• For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. 

The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm.  Alternatively you can email on or log on to for further information.

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