Subject to certain conditions, the supplementary welfare allowance scheme, which is administered on behalf of my Department by the health boards, 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 South Western Area Health Board was contacted regarding this case and has advised that the person concerned made an application for rent supplement in October 2003 following her move from local authority accommodation in Athlone. Her application was refused in accordance with the legislation governing the payment of rent supplement which stipulates that a supplement is not payable to a person who has vacated accommodation provided by a local authority unless the board is satisfied that there is reasonable cause for so doing.
The person concerned appealed this decision to the health board appeals officer and my Department's chief appeals officer. On both occasions the appeals officers determined that the reasons put forward for her move from existing local authority housing did not represent reasonable cause. Her appeals were disallowed.
The person concerned recently made further inquires regarding entitlement to rent supplement. She was again informed that she does not satisfy the conditions for receipt of rent supplement. As happened at the time of her original application in October 2003, she was advised that she should contact her local authority with regard to her housing needs.