Service no longer available

This service is no longer available at this time. 

If you need to apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance please contact your local Intreo Centre.

What is a Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Supplementary Welfare Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people who do not have enough income to meet their needs and those of their families.

Exceptional Needs Payments

An Exceptional Needs Payment is a single payment to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.  For example, the payment can be for bedding or cooking utensils for someone setting up a home for the first time, visiting relatives in hospital or prison, funeral costs or for clothing in exceptional circumstances.

Urgent Needs Payment

An Urgent Needs Payment (UNP) is a once-off payment made to persons, including those who may not normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance, but who have an urgent need which they cannot meet from their own resources or an alternative is not available at that time.  Examples of this would be to meet immediate needs, such as food, clothing or shelter in the aftermath of a fire, flood or other emergency event.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance is administered by the Community Welfare Service (CWS) of the department.

How to qualify

You will normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance if you satisfy the following conditions:

  • You are living in the State
  • You satisfy the SWA - Means Assessment
  • You have applied for any other benefit or allowance you may be entitled to and are waiting on a decision

What will you be asked about?

Your details

Questions about you, your address, any children and your relationship status

Your financial information

Questions about any income, savings or investments you or your partner may have