What is Supplementary Welfare Allowance?

If you don’t have enough income to meet your needs, you might qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Written by spunout


If you have no or low income, you could be entitled to Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

What is Supplementary Welfare Allowance?

Supplementary Welfare Allowance is a weekly payment you can get if you do not have enough income to meet your needs or your family’s needs.

Am I eligible for Supplementary Welfare Allowance?

If you have claimed a social welfare benefit but it has not been paid and you have no other income, then you might qualify for basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you wait. However, the amount paid while you are waiting will be deducted from your social welfare payment later.

If you have returned to work, you can claim the basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance for up to 30 days while you are waiting to get your wages.

To qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance you need to:

  • Live in Ireland
  • Satisfy the means test
  • Have applied for any other social welfare benefit or allowance you may be entitled to
  • Have registered for work with your local Intreo Centre
  • Satisfy the habitual residence condition

You will not normally qualify for basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance if you are in full-time work or education, or if you are involved in a labour dispute.

What is the means test for Supplementary Welfare Allowance?

Your income must be below a certain level to get Supplementary Welfare Allowance. To find out if your income is low enough to qualify, the Department of Social Protection does a means test.

The means test will calculate your income from work, savings, social welfare payments and other sources. It will not take into account certain payments such as SUSI grants and Child Benefit. If you are living with a partner or in your family home, some of their income may also be taken into account. Find out more about what is assessed in the Supplementary Welfare Allowance means test.

How much is Supplementary Welfare Allowance?

The amount of Supplementary Welfare Allowance that you will receive depends on certain factors, such as your age and whether or not you are living independently. Find a current list of Supplementary Welfare Allowance rates.

How can I apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance?

It is a good idea to apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance as soon as your need for it arises. You can contact the Department of Social Protection’s Community Welfare Service at your local administering office for more information. Find an office administering Supplementary Welfare Allowance near you.

What do I need to apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance?

To apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance, you will need the following:

  • A completed Supplementary Welfare Allowance application form
  • A PPS number
  • Proof of residency (bill)
  • Proof of ID such as a passport, driving licence, work permit or Public Services Card
  • Evidence of any household income
  • Birth certificates for any children you include in your application
  • Documents to show your income and financial situation, such as payslips, tax statements and bank statements

For more information about this payment and other social welfare supports, contact your local Intreo Centre or social welfare office.

Find out more about receiving social welfare payments.

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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