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Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 10 March 2021

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Questions (611)

Claire Kerrane

Question:

611. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of applicants awarded the supplementary welfare allowance to date in 2021; the number of applications submitted by county; and the purposes for which funding was allocated. [13149/21]

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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 end of February 2021.

Table 2 shows the number of ENPs and UNPs paid by county to end of February 2021.

Table 3 shows the number of ENPs and UNPs paid by category to end of February 2021.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Tabular Statement

Table 1 Basic SWA and supplement recipients by county at February 2021

County

Basic SWA

Rent Supplement

Other Supplements

Carlow

184

200

51

Cavan

67

213

24

Clare

92

145

387

Cork

957

2,388

87

Donegal

234

164

1,479

Dublin

4,615

10,158

100

Galway

288

851

59

Kerry

255

792

147

Kildare

408

911

78

Kilkenny

288

162

99

Laois

120

147

11

Leitrim

45

64

551

Limerick

389

505

57

Longford

69

72

58

Louth

435

174

95

Mayo

183

311

50

Meath

359

325

148

Monaghan

133

135

40

Offaly

191

74

7

Roscommon

187

132

245

Sligo

116

144

45

Tipperary

446

192

118

Waterford

315

153

79

Westmeath

156

403

122

Wexford

291

441

51

Wicklow

567

721

44

Total

11,390

19,977

4,232

Table 2 - Number of ENPs and UNPs paid by county for 2021 (end of February)

County

Number of Payments

Carlow

98

Cavan

127

Clare

206

Cork

711

Donegal

203

Dublin

2,871

Galway

188

Kerry

205

Kildare

433

Kilkenny

145

Laois

268

Leitrim

112

Limerick

325

Longford

169

Louth

254

Mayo

159

Meath

389

Monaghan

35

Offaly

114

Roscommon

110

Sligo

171

Tipperary

397

Waterford

228

Westmeath

200

Wexford

112

Wicklow

347

Total

8,577

Table 3 - Number of ENPs and UNPs paid by category for 2021 (end of February)

Category

Number of Payments

Bills

263

Child Related

326

Clothing

1,400

Funeral

440

General

2,139

Housing

3,733

Illness

215

Urgent Needs Payment

61

Total

8,577

Question No. 612 answered with Question No. 584.
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