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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Niall Carson/PA Archive The new cuts to the One-Parent Family Payment were signed off by Éamon Ó Cuív in the week after the general election.
Social Welfare

One-parent family allowances to be cut next month

The state benefits paid to parents bringing up their children will be cut from April 27, recipients are told.

STATE BENEFITS PAID to single-parent families will be curbed from next month, according to a letter circulated to recipients.

The circular, sent by the Department of Social Protection from its Sligo headquarters, informs recipients of the One-Family Parent (OFP) payment that the state will begin to lower the age at which children no longer entitle their parent to the payment effective from April 27 next month.

From next month, new claimants will receive the payment only until their child turns 14 – a significant reduction from the current system, where the payment is made to claimants whose children are up to 18 years old, or 22 years old in the case of children in full-time education.

Existing claimants will have the payment cut off from January 2013 if their child has turned 17, with the age limit reduced every year until January 2016, after which payment will stop when the child reaches the age of 14.

The new rules will mean that, from next month, single parents with children up to 18 years of age – or up to 22 years of age if they are still in secondary or third level education – while new applicants from the end of April will only be able to receive the same payments for children under the age of 14.

The rules were signed into law by the former social protection minister Éamon Ó Cuív on March 1 – the week after the general election saw his Fianna Fáil party booted out of office, but before he was replaced as minister by Joan Burton.

The payment currently stands at €188 a week, though the payment is means-tested and is not paid to parents earning more than €425 a week. Claimants are required to apply for the payment within three months of becoming eligible to receive it.

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