Table of Contents
1. Description of Scheme
Under the SWA scheme, a single payment may be made to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. These payments are known as Exceptional Needs Payments (ENPs).
2. Qualifying Conditions
Eligible people would normally be in receipt of a social welfare or health service executive payment. However, there is no automatic entitlement to such payments. ENPs are payable at the discretion of the Department’s representative taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case.
Normally persons in full-time education, in full-time employment, or directly involved in a trade dispute are not eligible to apply for ENPs. However people who are participating in certain Education or Work Schemes or directly involved in a trade dispute may apply for an Exceptional Needs Payment for a dependent adult or dependent child.
4. Types of payments
The payments would be for items such as special clothing in the case of a person who has a serious illness, bedding or cooking utensils for someone setting up a home for the first time, costs in relation to funerals, visiting relatives in hospital or prison etc.
The Department has published information to assist customers in financial difficulty with their energy bills.
5. Rates Structure
As ENPs are there to assist people with once-off exceptional expenditure the rates vary depending on the type of assistance required.
Applications for Exceptional Needs Payments may be made to the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local office.