Back in 2011 – the 2012 Budget announced cuts to the One-Parent Family Payment
Prior to that Budget – single parent benefit was paid until children reached 18. The changes mean that the age limit is being gradually reduced – so that by July 2015 all claimants will no longer be eligible for the payment once their youngest child reaches the age of seven.
This reduction to the age limit is being applied to new and existing claimants on a phased basis.
This year – the second phase of the changes came into effect on 4 July – and it it is expected that as many as 8,000 claimants will lose entitlement this month. The government estimates that in 2013 alone – the cuts to One Parent Payments will save just under €37 million.
Anyone whose claim started before 27 April 2011 had the age threshold reduced to 17 on July 4th.
If your claim started between 27 April 2011 and 2 May 2012 – the age theshold is now 12.
Claims that began on or after 3 May 2012 will now lose the benefit if the youngest child is over 10.
The majority of those who lost their entitlement to the OFP payment will probably apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance .
There are transitional arrangements in place that mean that Lone parents who apply for JA and whose youngest child is under 14 years of age can avail of the new JA transition arrangement. This means that they will be exempt from the requirement to be available for, and genuinely seeking, full-time work. They will also be exempt from having to prove unemployment and be able to work part-time without restrictions and still receive the JA payment – (subject to a means test).