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Section 11 - Supplementary Welfare Allowance

This section describes the payments under Supplementary Welfare Allowances scheme. It covers:

  • Rent and Mortgage Interest Supplements,
  • Special needs supplements,
  • Exceptional needs payments,
  • Urgent needs payments, and
  • Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance.

Contents

11.1Supplementary Welfare Allowances

11.2Rent and Mortgage Interest Supplement,

11.3Special needs supplements,

11.4Exceptional needs payments

11.5Urgent Needs Payments, and.

11.6Back-to-School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

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11.1 Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Supplementary Welfare Allowance is run by the Health Service Executive through Community Welfare Officers at local offices of the Health Service Executive.

Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people who do not have enough means to meet their needs and those of their qualified adult or any qualified children.

How do I qualify?

You will normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance if you:

  • satisfy a means test,
  • have applied for certain other social welfare payments,
  • have registered for work with F�S if you are of working age,
    and
  • are habitually resident in the State

You will not normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance if you are:

  • working full-time, that is, 30 hours or more a week,
  • in full-time education, or
  • involved in a trade dispute.

However, you may still claim Supplementary Welfare Allowance for a qualified adult or any qualified children.

Means Test

A means test is away of checking if you have enough means to support yourself and what amount of payment, if any, you may qualify for.

Your means include:

  • all cash income, including most social welfare and Health Service Executive (HSE) payments, except Child Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Blind Welfare Allowance
  • Investments, savings or property (except your own home), and
  • the value of any benefit or privilege for under 25's, for example, free board and lodging.

If you are married or living with a partner as husband and wife, your incomes are added together for the means test.

How Investments and Savings are Assessed

For Supplementary Welfare Allowance, means will be assessed on a weekly basis as follows:

  • disregard the first �5,000 of capital value of property/savings
  • assess next �10,000 at �1 per �1,000
  • assess next �25,000 at �2 per �1,000
  • assess remaining capital over �40,000 at �4 per �1,000

Where an applicant and spouse or partner have seperate properties or savings, then the combined value of both parties should be taken into account. Any income paid as a Respite Care Grant will be disregarded as means for the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme. Any income paid by way of Guardian�s Payment (Contributory) or Guardian�s Payment (Non-Contributory) [formerly known as Orphan�s Pensions] will be disregarded as means for Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.

How Much Can I Get?

Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance is made up of a personal rate for you and increases for qualified adult and any qualified children.If you have no means you will qualify for the maximum amount of the allowance.

If you have low means you may qualify for a payment to bring your income up to the maximum appropriate rate of Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

The rates of Supplementary Welfare Allowance are shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19.

How Do I Get my Payment

You may get Supplementary Welfare Allowance by cheque, post draft or directly into your account in a financial institution.

Additional payments under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme

If you are getting Supplementary Welfare Allowance you may also qualify for:

  • Rent or Mortgage Interest Supplement
  • Supplements for Special heating or dietary needs,
  • Exceptional Needs Payments
  • Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance and
  • Payments to meet urgent needs.
Extra Benefits

As well as these payments, you may get

  • Fuel Allowance (see Section 10 for details), and
  • Medical Card from your regional Health Service Executive (HSE).
When and How Do I Apply

You should apply to the Community Welfare Officer (CWO) at your local office of the Health Service Executive for Supplementary Welfare Allowance as soon as the need arises. If you do not know where your local office is, or if you want to find out the CWO's office hours, contact the head office of your regional Health Service Executive. See Appendix 6 for details:

More Information

For further details see information booklet Supplementary Welfare Allowance  SW 54 or contact:

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Section
Department of Social and Family Affairs
Social Welfare Services Office
College Road
Sligo

Telephone: LoCall: 1890 50 00 00

11.2 Rent and Mortgage Interest Supplements

If you are having difficulty paying your rent or mortgage and you are getting a social welfare or Health Service Executive payment, you may qualify for a Rent or Mortgage Interest Supplement.

When deciding whether you qualify, the Health Service Executive may consider:

  • whether the size of your accommodation is right for your family size
  • if you have applied for local authority housing if available,
  • if you have a good reason for leaving your parents home, if relevant,
  • how the cost of your accommodation compared to rent levels for similar accommodation in the area
  • whether you are sharing your accommodation with others,
  • whether you have made any arrangements, with your lending agency to alter your mortgage payments, and
  • your ability to meet repayments when you took out your mortgage.
How Much Can I Get?

The amount of the supplement is determined by the Health Service Executive. The supplement will generally make sure that your income after paying your rent or mortgage interest is at least the same as the Supplementary Welfare Allowance less a minimum contribution, which everybody receiving the supplement must pay.

How Do I get the Supplement

You may get the supplement by a weekly or monthly cheque, postdraft or directly into your account in a financial institution.

How do I apply for the supplement?

You should apply to the Community Welfare Officer at your local office of the Health Service Executive.

11.3 Special Needs Supplements

If your income from your social welfare or Health Service Executive payment is too low to meet certain special needs, you may get a weekly supplement. Special needs may include:

  • exceptional heating expenses due to ill-health, and
  • a special diet due to a medical condition.

In either case, you must provide medical evidence of your condition before you can receive the payment. For the diet supplement, you should give written evidence that a hospital consultant or hospital registrar (or doctor, if the diet is for an adult) has prescribed a special diet for your condition.

11.4 Exceptional Needs Payments

If you are getting a social welfare or Health Service Executive payment, you may qualify for a once off payment to meet an exceptional need. It is up to the Health Service Executive to decide whether to make this payment taking into account all details of your situation.

An exceptional needs payment covers essential, once-off exceptional spending that you could not reasonably be expected to meet out of your weekly income.

You may get this payment for:

  • bedding or other essential household equipment
  • funeral expenses, or
  • other unforeseen large expenses.

These payments are made by cheque. To apply contact the Community Welfare Officer at your local office of the Health Service Executive.

11.5 Urgent Needs Payments

You may get an urgent needs payment even if you do not normally qualify for assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme. Payments are normally made to assist with immediate needs such as food and clothing right after a fire or flood.

Depending on your situation you may have to pay back all or part of what you have been paid, for example if you are working or have settled an insurance claim.

To apply for this payment contact the Community Welfare Officer at your local office of the Health Service Executive.

11.6 Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

This allowance is intended to help towards the cost of children's school uniforms and footwear at the beginning of the school year. The scheme is run by the Health Service Executive and operates from the beginning of June to the end of September each year.

How do I qualify?

You may qualify if your household income is below a certain amount* and you are:

  • getting a social welfare (including Family Income Supplement) or a Health Service Executive payment,
    or
  • taking part in approved employment schemes, such as Back to Work Allowance (Employees), Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Community Employment, Revenue Job Assist, Social Economy Programme (Grant Aided Employees), Job Initiative, Workplace or Youthreach
    or
  • taking part in an Area-Based Partnership Scheme or a F�S, Cert or LES training scheme
    or
  • taking part in a Rural Social Scheme and allowed to keep your secondary benefits
    and
  • getting an increase in your payment for the child (see Section 1.2 for details ).

See information booklet SW75 for details of these income limits

How Much will you Get?

There are two rates of payment, one for children aged 2 to 11, the other for children aged 12 to 22.

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance rates are set out in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19 and information booklet SW 75.

How Do I get the Allowance:

The allowance is normally paid by cheque.

How Do I Apply

You apply to the Community Welfare Officer (CWO) at your local office of the Health Service Executive.

For more information, contact the CWO at your local office of the Health Service Executive, or

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Section
Department of Social and Family Affairs
c/o Social Welfare Services Office
College Road
Sligo

Telephone: LoCall:1890 50 00 00


School Meals

Funding is now available for breakfast clubs, lunch clubs or homework clubs in National and Secondary Schools.

Priority is given to areas of disadvantage, children at risk of leaving school early and children with special needs.

For further details see Section 6.7
or
contact School Meals Section LoCall 1890 500 500


Last modified:22/04/2009
 

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