Define: Displaced Homemaker

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Displaced Homemaker



What is the dictionary definition of Displaced Homemaker?

Dictionary Definition


A displaced homemaker is someone who satisfies all of the following criteria:

  • They provided unpaid services to family members in the home, such as a stay-at-home parent.
  • They were supported by income from another family member but are no longer supported by that income.
  • They are unemployed or underemployed and are having difficulty obtaining or upgrading employment.

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Full Definition of Displaced Homemaker


A homemaker is a person who maintains the upkeep of his or her residence, especially one who is not employed outside the home.

A displaced homemaker describes someone who has been out of the paid workforce for years, usually raising a family and managing a household and its chores, without pay, during those years. The homemaker becomes displaced when for some reason – most often divorce, a spouse’s death or a reduction in household income – she must find other means of support, likely including re-entering the workforce. Most were women, as traditional roles meant more women stayed out of the workforce to do the unpaid family work. Many of these women were middle-aged and older, facing age as well as sex discrimination, and many had no job training, as they had not expected to be employed outside the home, and many had ended their education early to conform to traditional norms or to focus on raising children.

The term Displaced Homemaker is described in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 as a person who has been providing unpaid services to family members in the home and is now no longer supported by a family member and is underemployed or unemployed and having a difficult time finding an upgrade on his employment status.

Also, according to 29 USCS § 2801 [Title 29. Labor; Chapter 30. Workforce Investment Systems; Workforce Investment Definitions], the term “displaced homemaker” means “an individual who has been providing unpaid services to family members in the home and who-

  • has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer supported by that income; and
  • is unemployed or underemployed and is experiencing difficulty in obtaining or upgrading employment.”

In general, a displaced homemaker is a person who fulfils the typical following criteria:

  • is at least 30-35 years old,
  • is unemployed and has not worked as an employee for a substantial number of years but has worked in his or her home providing unpaid services for family members,
  • has been dependent on the income of another family member but is no longer being supported by that income,
  • has been receiving public welfare assistance for having dependent children,
  • is underemployed and finding it difficult to upgrade employment.

This term may also refer to: a woman recently divorced, separated, or widowed after many years as a homemaker.


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Displaced Homemaker. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/displaced-homemaker/ (accessed: February 26, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Displaced Homemaker. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved February 26, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/displaced-homemaker/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Displaced Homemaker are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • BusinessDictionary.com
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 27th December 2019.