The Community Welfare Service administers the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, which offers a safety net within the overall social welfare system by providing assistance to those whose means are insufficient to meet their own needs and those of their dependants.
There are no specific guidelines for the Community Welfare Service in the circumstances outlined where the person in need of assistance is in a coma. However, it may be possible for a family member to engage with the Community Welfare Service in order to seek an exceptional needs payment to meet immediate needs and to explore whether longer term income supports may be appropriate. Social Welfare legislation contains provisions that allow for the appointment of an agent in circumstances where a customer is unable for the time being to manage their own financial affairs.
If the Deputy has concerns in respect of a particular case, he should bring the details to the attention of the Department.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.