Refugees receive income maintenance payments on the same basis as Irish citizens. For example, a single unemployed refugee receives £76 unemployment assistance for the first 12 months of unemployment and £77.50 per week thereafter.
The income maintenance needs of asylum seekers are met for the most part by health boards who administer the supplementary welfare allowance scheme on behalf of my Department. The SWA scheme provides entitlement to any person in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their needs.
Where a person has access to some resources either in cash or in kind this is taken into account in determining entitlement to SWA. This occurs in the case of asylum seekers who are being provided with full board accommodation under the direct provision system operated by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
Where a person in full board accommodation receives all meals and has access to other facilities such as laundry and leisure areas the recommended weekly allowance is £15 per adult and £7.50 per child. Furthermore, as is the case with all persons who are resident in the State where there are other reasonable expenses, exceptional needs payments will be made by the health board.