If you have no income you may be entitled to basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance. If your weekly income is below the Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate for your family size, a payment may be made to bring your income up to the appropriate Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate.
If you have claimed a social welfare payment but it has not yet been paid, and you have no other income, you may qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you are awaiting payment.
If your income, whether from basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance or otherwise, is too low to meet certain special needs, you may be granted a weekly supplement. Special needs may include:
- rent or mortgage interest payments
- exceptional heating expenses due to ill-health - you will be required to get a letter from your doctor before a supplement for special heating needs will be granted
- a prescribed special diet as a result of a specified medical condition. In most cases, it must be prescribed by a hospital consultant or a hospital registrar. However, some diets may be prescribed by a
The amount of any supplement will be decided by the Health Service Executive based on your circumstances.
Exceptional Needs Payments
You may be paid an Exceptional Needs Payment to assist with essential, once-off expenditure in exceptional circumstances. Expenditure of a predictable or recurring nature such as, fuel or clothing should be budgeted for out of your regular weekly income. There is no automatic right of entitlement to an Exceptional Needs Payment. Payment is at the discretion of the Health Service Executive taking into account all your circumstances.
Depending on your circumstances, an Exceptional Needs Payment may be paid to assist with the cost of:
- bedding or other essential household equipment
- funeral expenses
- other unforeseen large expenses.
Urgent Needs Payments
You may be paid an Urgent Needs Payment even if you are not normally eligible to receive assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme. Payments are normally made to assist with immediate needs such as, food and clothing in the aftermath of a fire or flood.
Depending on your circumstances you may have to pay back all or part of what you have been paid, for example, if you are working, or once an insurance claim has been settled.