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Social Welfare Benefits

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (284)

Bernard Durkan


284. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will review the availability of exceptional needs payments in order to alleviate exceptional needs situations that have arisen in the context of Covid-19; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58179/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

Under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme, my Department may make an 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. Government has provided €46 million for the exceptional and urgent needs scheme in 2021. The exceptional needs payment scheme is available to provide supports to people who may be experiencing exceptional needs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Payments 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. Exceptional needs payments are not subject to the habitual residence condition and payments can be made to people who do not qualify for other social welfare supports. Any person who considers they may have an entitlement to an exceptional needs payment should contact the Community Welfare Service at their local Intreo Centre. There is a national Income Support Helpline in place - 0818800024 - which will assist callers to make contact with the appropriate office.

If the Deputy has concerns about a particular case or particular issue relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, he should bring it to the attention of my Department. I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.