Supplementary Welfare Allowance

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This section describes the payments under Supplementary Welfare Allowances scheme.

From 1st October 2011 the Community Welfare Service and the Community Welfare Officers providing it, formally transferred to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The service and the staff are now part of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. 

A list of offices administering the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme can be found here.


Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people who do not have enough means to meet their needs and those of their qualified adult or any qualified children. 


Rent Supplement

If you are having difficulty paying your rent, you may qualify for a Rent Supplement, subject to qualifying conditions.


Exceptional Needs Payments

If you are getting a social welfare or Health Service Executive payment, you may qualify for a once off payment to meet an exceptional need. There is no automatic entitlement to this payment. Each application is determined by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) based on the particular circumstances of the case. An exceptional needs payment covers essential, once-off exceptional spending that you could not reasonably be expected to meet out of your weekly income.


Urgent Needs Payments

Urgent Needs Payments are normally made to assist with immediate needs such as food and clothing right after a fire or flood. Depending on your situation you may have to pay back all or part of what you have been paid, for example if you are working or have settled an insurance claim.

Dietary Supplement

Any person who is receiving a Social Welfare or Health Service Executive payment and who has been prescribed a special diet as a result of a specified medical condition, and whose means are insufficient to meet his/her needs, may qualify for a diet supplement under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme.


Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

This allowance is intended to help towards the cost of children's school uniforms and footwear at the beginning of the school year.


School Meals Programme

The School Meals Programme operated by the Department of Social Protection provides funding towards provision of food services for disadvantaged school child through two schemes the Urban School Meals Scheme and the School Meals Local Projects Scheme.


Humanitarian Assistance Scheme

The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme, which is means tested, is intended to provide emergency financial assistance to households who are not in a position to meet costs for essential needs in the period immediately following flooding. The aim of the scheme is to provide financial support to people who have suffered damages to their home and in doing so provide hardship alleviation, as opposed to full compensation.


Last modified:09/05/2018

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