Social Welfare Legislation


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The operation of the social welfare system is underpinned by the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 and by Regulations made under that Act. 

Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005

The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 is amended on a regular basis, with 2 Social Welfare Bills normally being enacted each year –

  • a Bill in the last quarter of the year to implement the annual social welfare changes announced in the Budget, and
  • a Bill in spring or early summer to implement miscellaneous amendments to the social welfare code arising from policy, administrative and operational matters.

Social Welfare Regulations

There are number of principal Social Welfare Regulations which deal with –

  • social welfare appeals – Social Welfare (Appeals) Regulations 1990 (S.I. No. 344 of 1990)
  • liability for and payment of PRSI contributions – Social Welfare (Consolidated Contributions and Insurability) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 312 of 1996)
  • the operation of the Rent Allowance scheme for tenants of formerly decontrolled rented dwellings – Social Welfare (Rent Allowance) Regulations 1998 (S.I. No. 188 of 1998)
  • the operation of the various social welfare payments, including the making of claims, the manner of payments and the control of those schemes – Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 142 of 2007)
  • the operation of the Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme – Social Welfare (Consolidated Occupational Injuries) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 102 of 2007)
  • the operation of the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme – Social Welfare (Consolidated Supplementary Welfare Allowance) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 412 of 2007)

These principal Regulations are amended on a regular basis to take account of Budgetary changes and other miscellaneous amendments to the social welfare code arising from policy, administrative and operational matters

In addition, there is a small number of standalone Social Welfare Regulations which deal mainly with increases in reduced rates of social welfare payments, the payment of Christmas Bonus and bi-lateral social security agreements.

Last modified:04/11/2015