Urgent Needs Payments

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Urgent Needs Payments are payments under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme. You do not have to meet the habitual residence condition to qualify for an urgent needs payment.


An Urgent Needs Payment may be paid to people in emergency situations. For example, in the case of a fire, flood or other disaster, you may get a payment to help with the immediate cost of food and clothing. Depending on your circumstances, for example, if you are working or when an insurance claim has been settled, you may have to pay some or all of this back at a later date.


The amount of payment you get will depend on the type of assistance you need.

How to apply

To apply for an Urgent Needs Payment payment you will need:

  • Personal 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 Urgent 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 office.

Last modified:06/08/2015

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