Flooding in Donegal

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If you or your family have been affected by the recent severe weather flooding in Donegal, this update is for you.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is working to provide immediate financial supports to families and individuals affected by the recent severe weather. The Department has activated its Humanitarian Assistance Scheme which is available to assist people whose homes are damaged by flooding.

Our immediate priority is to provide emergency income support to families and individuals to help with payments for urgent needs such as food, clothing and personal items.  Thereafter, we can begin to assist families and individuals to replace white goods, basic furniture items and other essential household items. It is not until the flood water abates and houses dry out that the full extent of the damage to homes will become known.  Once this has happened, we will identify what longer term financial support or works are required. It could take some time before this stage of response commences and this involves a cross Departmental/Agency response. Works to be carried out can include plastering, dry-lining, relaying of floors, electrical re-wiring and painting.

The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is not just available to those already in receipt of social welfare payments and the Government has not set a limit on the amount that can be paid to an individual household under this scheme. Levels of payment depend on the severity of damage experienced and the household’s ability to meet these costs.  While it is a means tested payment, the means assessment for Humanitarian Assistance is more generous that that applied under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme. For example, a family consisting of a couple and two children with a gross household income of €70,000 or less will receive 100% of the amount allowable in respect of their application.  For each whole €1,000 of household income above the €70,000 the couple will be required to make a personal contribution of 1% toward the amount allowable. The amount allowable in any particular case refers to the amount the officer administering the scheme determines is required to replace essential losses and to make any essential repairs.

The scheme has certain conditions attached to ensure that funding is targeted to those most in need and assistance is not provided for losses which are covered by insurance or for commercial and business losses. We are asking those in need of support to visit their local Intreo office or Employment Affairs and Social Protection office where our Community Welfare Service Teams are waiting to assist them.  For those unable to travel to their local offices, they can contact the Buncrana Intreo Centre on (074) 9364600.

Staff from the Department will also be on the ground today in Donegal to assist in the coordinated Government response. The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is the lead Department for severe weather emergencies and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s local Community Welfare Service is in contact with the Local Authority. This interagency response ensures that supports are provided to those affected as swiftly as possible.

We will be providing updates throughout the day and coming days on our Twitter @welfare_ie and we remain ready to help.

Additional Information on the Humanitarian Assistance scheme

The Humanitarian Assistance scheme, which is means tested, will be made available to assist people whose homes are damaged by flooding and who are not in a position to meet costs for essential needs, household items and in some instances structural repair.

  • The schemes provide hardship alleviation assistance as opposed to full compensation to householders affected by the flooding.
  • Damage to a person's home and its essential contents, such as carpets, flooring, furniture, household appliances and bedding, will be considered for assistance.
  • Structural damage may be considered. Eligibility is subject to an income test.
  • Assistance will not be given for losses which are covered by insurance.
  • Commercial and business losses will not qualify for humanitarian assistance.

Press Release: DSP response to severe weather flooding in Donegal 24th August 2017

Last modified:24/08/2017