Exceptional Needs Payments are paid under the Supplementary Welfare
Allowance Scheme. You do not have to meet the
habitual residence condition to qualify.
An Exceptional Needs Payment is a single payment to help meet essential,
once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be
expected to meet out of their weekly income. For example, the payments can be
for special clothing for a person who has a serious illness, bedding or cooking
utensils for someone setting up a home for the first time, visiting relatives
in hospital or prison, or funeral costs. You can also apply for financial help
for clothing for children. Exceptional Needs Payments are no longer paid for
religious ceremonies, mainly communions and confirmations.
Help with funeral costs
You may be eligible for an Exceptional Needs Payment to help you with the
cost of a funeral if your income is low. Each case is decided on its merits by
the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the
Community Welfare Officer) at your local
Help with fuel bills
You may get help with the cost of your electricity or natural gas bill but
only in exceptional circumstances.
What should I do if I have difficulties paying my energy
Department of Social Protection has published information to help you if you
are in financial difficulty with your energy bills.
You may be eligible for an Exceptional Needs Payment if:
- You are living in the State
- You satisfy a means test
You won't normally be eligible if you are:
- In full-time work (more than 30 hours a week)
- In full-time education
- Involved in a trade dispute or on strike. However, you may apply for an
Exceptional Needs Payment for your dependent
adult or dependent
The amount of payment you get will depend on a means test and the type of
assistance you need.
How to apply
You should apply for funeral assistance before the funeral takes place,
however, failing this, you should apply as soon as possible afterwards.
To apply for an Exceptional Needs Payment payment you will need:
Public Service (PPS) numbers for yourself, your spouse, civil partner
or cohabitant and your children
- Evidence of any income or social welfare assistance you are getting
You cannot appeal
a decision on an Exceptional Needs Payment to the Social Welfare Appeals
Office. However, you may request that a decision be reviewed by the SWA Review
Officer for the office which made the original decision.
Where to apply
You should contact the Department of Social Protection's representative
(formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local