Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (522)

Claire Kerrane

Question:

522. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of applications received for the supplementary welfare allowance in 2020; the breakdown of overall applications received versus those accepted and or processed; the number of applications submitted by county; and the purposes for which funding was allocated. [7332/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme is the safety net within the overall social welfare system in that it provides assistance to eligible people in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their needs and those of their dependants. Supports provided under the SWA scheme can consist of a basic weekly payment, a weekly or monthly supplement in respect of certain expenses, as well as single exceptional needs payments (ENPs) and urgent needs payments (UNPs).

The basic supplementary welfare allowance provides immediate assistance for those in need who are awaiting the outcome of a claim or an appeal for a primary social welfare payment or do not qualify for payment under other State schemes.

Rent supplement provides short-term income support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from any other source. The scheme ensures that for those who were renting, but whose circumstances have changed due to temporary loss of employment, can continue to meet their rental commitments.

Under the SWA scheme, a supplement can be awarded to assist with ongoing or recurring costs that cannot be met from the client’s own resources and are deemed to be necessary. In addition, officers can make a single exceptional needs payment to help meet essential, once-off expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. Decisions on ENPs and SWA supplements are made at the discretion of the officers administering the scheme taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case.

Statistics are maintained on the number of applications awarded under the SWA scheme. They are not maintained on the number of applications received or the outcome of those applications.

Table 1 shows the number of Basic SWA and supplement recipients by county, at year end 2020

Table 2 shows the number of ENPs and UNPs paid by county for 2020

Table 3 shows the number of ENPs and UNPs paid by category for 2020

It should also be noted that the urgent needs payments legislative provisions were used as the payment instrument for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment until August 2020. These payments have not been included in this reply.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Table 1 Basic SWA and supplement recipients by county at year end 2020

Basic SWA

Rent Supplement

Other Supplements

Carlow

194

191

56

Cavan

90

192

26

Clare

111

132

100

Cork

998

2,357

356

Donegal

260

142

235

Dublin

4,939

10,018

1393

Galway

333

831

118

Kerry

255

739

77

Kildare

447

879

133

Kilkenny

305

132

65

Laois

150

124

123

Leitrim

57

62

9

Limerick

415

446

585

Longford

72

64

76

Louth

456

165

40

Mayo

208

279

53

Meath

397

277

54

Monaghan

131

117

53

Offaly

213

61

167

Roscommon

196

131

45

Sligo

163

138

25

Tipperary

484

194

254

Waterford

338

116

52

Westmeath

173

392

118

Wexford

331

411

62

Wicklow

608

714

101

Total

12,324

19,304

4,376

Table 2 - Number of ENPs and UNPs paid by county for 2020

County

Number of Payments

Carlow

754

Cavan

589

Clare

1,777

Cork

5,385

Donegal

1,356

Dublin

22,525

Galway

1,825

Kerry

1,970

Kildare

2,931

Kilkenny

1,055

Laois

2,169

Leitrim

850

Limerick

2,530

Longford

1,227

Louth

1,457

Mayo

1,722

Meath

2,350

Monaghan

993

Offaly

1,026

Roscommon

874

Sligo

924

Tipperary

2,958

Waterford

2,201

Westmeath

2,185

Wexford

882

Wicklow

3,074

Total

67,589

Table 3 - Number of ENPs and UNPs paid by category for 2020

Category

Number of Payments

Bills

2,000

Child Related

2,324

Clothing

12,105

Funeral

2,778

General

19,686

Housing

26,077

Illness

1,507

Urgent Needs Payment

1,112

Total

67,589