How to apply for rent supplement in Ireland

Find out who is entitled to rent supplement and how to apply if you’re having trouble paying the rent

Written by spunout


If you are finding it difficult to pay your rent, you could be entitled to Rent Supplement. This scheme is a social welfare benefit that helps people to cover the cost of their rent.

What is Rent Supplement?

Rent supplement is an income support for people who are unable to cover the cost of their rent with their own income. It is a short-term payment for people in the private rented sector.

Who is entitled to Rent Supplement?

You may be eligible if you have been:

  • Living in accommodation for homeless people for the past six months
  • Privately renting accommodation
  • Living in an Irish institution – prison, hospital etc
  • Assessed by a local authority as ‘in need of social housing’
  • You have been a victim of domestic violence and you have been referred by TUSLA, the Gardaí, or the HSE
  • You are an asylum seeker from Ukraine

You are not eligible if you:

  • Are full-time employed
  • Are living in the family home
  • Are in full-time education (except if you are involved in the Back To Education Programme )
  • Have refused a second offer of accommodation made by your local authority
  • Have been excluded from social housing because of anti-social behaviour
  • Are married to or living with a partner who works full-time

How much is Rent Supplement in Ireland?

Each county in Ireland has a set maximum rent level and you will usually not receive payment for an accommodation that charges more than the maximum rent rate in your county. The Department of Social Protection can make additional rent payments above rent limits on a case-by-case basis both for people getting Rent Supplement already and for new applicants.

To receive the Rent Supplement, you must still contribute something to the rent. The minimum contribution for a single person is €30 per week. A couple’s expected minimum contribution is €40 per week. To find out more about the means test for Rent Supplement, read this guide on the Citizens Information website.

Remember, if you are really struggling for money, you can apply for a number of other payments, benefits and allowances from the Government such as Back to Education Allowance, Dental Benefit, Child Benefit. You can find more information on other supports on Citizens Information.

Read more about what to do if you cannot pay your rent.

How do I apply for Rent Supplement?

To apply for it, you should contact the Department of Social Protection’s representative at your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You will be asked to fill out this application form for Rent Supplement (pdf) and part of it will need to be filled in by your landlord.

Find out more about applying for Rent Supplement from Citizen’s Information.

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