Maintenance and One-Parent Family Payment

The One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is a means-tested payment, so any income you receive from work, or any other source – including maintenance payments – will be factored into the amount you receive.

When you apply to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) for the OFP payment, you will be asked if you are receiving maintenance, and how much money you receive.

If you are not receiving maintenance you will be asked to contact the child’s other parent to arrange for maintenance to be paid, you will also be asked to provide their contact information.

In situations where domestic abuse was or continues to be an issue, you should not be asked to contact the other parent yourself, and the DSP has a guideline for their staff about this.

What maintenance income is assessed as means?

All income from maintenance is assessed as means – maintenance paid for both you and the children will be taken into account.

If you are receiving maintenance from more than one person, the total amount of all maintenance will be taken into account in assessing your means.

Half of the total amount of maintenance you receive will be deducted from your One-Parent Family Payment, but the amount counted will be reduced if you have a housing cost.

If you have housing costs such as rent or mortgage payments, up to €95.23 per week can be off-set against those costs. It is “disregarded” as means, which means that this amount is taken away from the total maintenance you receive, and half of the remainder is assessed as means and deducted from your OFP. Proof of rent and mortgage payments will be required.

Contact information for the other parent

You will be asked to provide the Department of Social Protection (DSP) with contact information for the child’s other parent because if you are not receiving maintenance the Department may contact the other parent to seek a contribution towards your OFP payment.

They can also seek to have the contribution increased if they think it is not sufficient. This will be done through the Department’s Maintenance Recovery Unit. It is important to note that the Department makes the decision to seek additional maintenance and NOT the individual who is in receipt of the payment. You can contact the Maintenance Recovery Unit of the Department directly at 071 967 2599.