Subject to certain conditions, the supplementary welfare allowance scheme provides for the payment of a weekly or monthly supplement in respect of rent to eligible people in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation needs and who do not have accommodation available from any other source.
The scheme is administered on behalf of my Department by the health boards and neither I nor my Department have any function in deciding entitlement in individual cases.
Rent supplements are subject to a means test and are normally calculated to ensure that a person, after the payment of rent, has an income equal to the rate of supplementary welfare allowance appropriate to his or her family circumstances, less a minimum contribution, currently €13.
In addition to the minimum contribution, each applicant is required to contribute towards his or her rent any additional assessable means that he or she may have over and above the appropriate rate of basic supplementary welfare allowance.
The South Eastern Health Board was contacted on behalf of the family in question and has advised that the amount of rent supplement in payment, which incorporates a disregard of €120 per week in respect of rehabilitative earnings, is the maximum amount payable in this case.