The income maintenance needs of asylum seekers are met for the most part by health boards who administer the supplementary welfare allowance – SWA – system on behalf of the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs. The SWA scheme provides entitlement to any person in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their needs. Payment is made in accordance with the relevant legislation as long as the person is resident in the State. Payments to asylum seekers are made on the same basis as payments to other recipients.
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. 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 – ENP – will be made by the health board.