Case study: Working Family Payment (WFP)

This is an example showing how income is assessed for Working Family Payment (2024 rates) when parenting alone.

Case study

Mary has 3 children. Her youngest 2 children are 5 and 7 years old. She is getting a One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) and was recently offered work part-time.

If she takes the job, she will work 3 days each week and earn €300. Mary wants to take the job as all her children are now in school, but she knows her One-Parent Family Payment will be affected.

Would Mary be better off financially if she takes the job offer?

She has lived in her home for 20 years and has a small mortgage. She gets a weekly maintenance payment of €80 for her mortgage costs, which does not affect her One-Parent Family Payment. Her 18-year-old daughter is a student and has a part-time job in a local shop.

Working Family Payment rate calculation

Step 1: Find Mary’s weekly income

Mary’s weekly net income from employment (note 1): €300

Add weekly net income from self-employment: €0

Add reduced OFP (note 2): €318

Add income from occupational pensions: €0

Add maintenance received: €80

Total income: €698

Step 2: Calculate the WFP rate

To get the Working Family Payment (WFP), Mary’s average weekly income must be under a certain amount for her family size. The maximum income limit for a family with 3 children is €847.

The WFP payment she can get is 60% of the difference between her average weekly family income, and the WFP income limit for her family size.

  • The difference between €847 and €698 is €149
  • 60% of €149 is €89.40

So, Mary will get a WFP rate of €89.40 each week.

If Mary takes the job and gets WFP

Mary’s current weekly income is €458 (€378 One-parent Family Payment for herself and 3 children, plus €80 maintenance).

If she takes the job, her total gross income including WFP will be €787.40 (€318 reduced OFP + €89.40 WFP + €300 income from work + €80 from maintenance).

Note 1

Mary’s net income from employment is assessed for WFP. However, her daughter’s income is not assessed because she is under 22 years of age and in full-time education.

Note 2

If Mary gets €300 from employment, her One-Parent Family Payment will be reduced.

  • The first €165 of Mary’s income from employment is disregarded (not included) in the means test for OFP (€300 - €165 = €135)
  • The Department will assess 50% of the remaining €135, which is €67.50, as Mary’s means

A person with means of €67.50 gets an OFP payment of €172. Mary also gets €46 for each child under 12, and €54 for her child that is 12 and over.

So, her total weekly OFP payment will be €318 (€172 + €46 + €46 + €54 = €318).

You can read more about how income from employment affects your One-Parent Family Payment.

Page edited: 20 February 2024