Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

249 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the average weekly cost to his Department of full board type accommodation provided by the Eastern Health Board in the case of a single person and a married couple with two children; the corresponding weekly average cost where social welfare allowance and appropriate rent supplement are payable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5125/00]

The supplementary welfare allowance – SWA – scheme provides assistance to people who have little or no income and is administered on my behalf by the health boards. In addition to a basic payment people may also qualify for a weekly supplement to meet certain special needs, e.g. rent and mortgage interest payments, or a payment to help with the cost of any exceptional needs they may have.

The maximum rate of SWA payable where a person has no means of any kind is £72 per week for a single person, £115.20 for a couple and £13.20 for each child. The maximum rate of rent supplement paid to a single person in the Eastern Health Board area is £64 per week, while a couple with two children can receive up to £156 per week.

In the case of persons in full board, the only payment that will be the responsibility of my Department will be the residual income maintenance payment of £15 per adult and £7.50 per child to cover personal requisites. The cost of accommodation in these cases will be met initially by the relevant local authorities and ultimately by the Department of Environment and Local Government.