Supports available to people on a Jobseeker’s payment - SW126

Print page



Keeping my Secondary Benefits

You may be able to keep your secondary benefits, such as rent/mortgage interest supplements, in certain circumstances, where activation support is being provided.

If you are in receipt of rent supplement or mortgage interest supplement and are considering taking part in any of these educational or employment support schemes, you should contact the officer dealing with your claim so that your entitlements can be clarified.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) is aimed at persons whose means are insufficient to meet their needs and those of their dependants. SWA can consist of a basic payment and/or a supplement in respect of certain expenses a person may not be able to meet.

If you have claimed a social welfare benefit or pension but it has not yet been paid and you have no other income, you may qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you are waiting for your payment.

Payment of Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) in advance of wages

In instances where a person has started employment and is obliged to work a back week/ fortnight etc. before payment of wages commences, in certain prescribed circumstances, a payment of SWA may be made by the Community Welfare Service for up to a maximum period of 30 days after starting employment. This is to facilitate a person in having some source of income until they receive their first wages.

Rent Supplement

Rent Supplement is paid to people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources.

In general, you may qualify for a Rent Supplement if your only income is a social welfare payment and you satisfy other conditions.

The amount of Rent Supplement that is paid will generally ensure that your income, after paying rent, does not fall below a minimum level.

Rent Supplement is only intended to be a short-term housing support. If you have a long-term housing need it may be met by the Local Authority in your area through Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) which is available nationwide.

Further details can be found at

Adult Literacy Services

The Adult Literacy Service provides help on a private and confidential basis for adults experiencing difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, numeracy, form filling and letter writing. Tuition is offered free on a one-to-one or small group basis.

Contact your local Education and Training Board (ETB).

Medical Card or GP Visit Card

You may qualify for a medical card if you satisfy a means test.

This card allows you to receive free GP services, prescribed drugs and medicines, in-patient and outpatient public hospital services, medical appliances, dental, optical and aural services, maternity and infant care services, public health nurse, social worker and other community care services.

A GP visit card provides free access to GP services.

Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS)

MABS provides detailed advice on managing your debts. It can advise you in negotiations with creditors, including alternative repayment options for your debts. It can also give you information on dealing with rent arrears.

The MABS helpline 0761 07 2000 is open from 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. MABS also operates a nationwide network of centres, staffed by specialist money advisers.

Voluntary Work Option

If you do voluntary work within the State you may continue to qualify for a jobseeker’s payment providing you are still available for and genuinely seeking work.

You should complete application form VW 1 available on The completed application form should be sent to your local Intreo Centre or your local Branch Office and a Deciding Officer will decide whether you may take up the voluntary work in question without affecting your jobseeker’s payment.


Last modified:22/05/2017