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18th Apr 2024

One Parent Family payment scheme to change in May

Kat O'Connor

The One Parent Family payment is set for some changes

Changes are set to be made to the One Parent Family payment scheme.

The public has been warned that changes are set to be made in May, but they are positive.

According to Citizens Information, the means test will be altered. Parents on child maintenance will no longer have the payment means tested.

This means people who may not have met the payment qualifications could be considered.

It is understood that the changes will come into effect on May 1st.

Speaking about the changes, Minister Heather Humphreys said:

“This legislation represents a landmark reform of the child maintenance system in Ireland. Under the reforms, Child Maintenance payments will be excluded from the Social Welfare means test for the first time.

“It is estimated that this measure will be of direct benefit to some 16,000 lone parents and will play a significant role in reducing child poverty. When I worked in the Credit Union, I saw that some weeks, the child maintenance was paid, other weeks it was missed.

“And the person that suffers most in that situation is the child. And I don’t want to see that happen. So this legislation will make a positive difference to so many different families.”

People applying for the OFP can work but their income needs to remain below a certain amount.

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 – see ‘Age limit for a child’ below
  • 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 – see ‘How your income is assessed for the One-Parent Family Payment’ below
  • Live in Ireland and meet the habitual residence condition – find out more about exemptions from the habitual residency condition.
  • Not be living with a spouse, civil partner, or cohabiting