The following is a brief summary of how means are assessed for the listed SWA payments. The effective Guidelines used in the calculation of means are those issued to the department’s representatives.
Basic SWA payments
Supplements, for example Rent or Mortgage, Diet, special heating needs
Exceptional Needs Payments
Urgent Needs Payments
Back-to-School Clothing and Footwear Allowance
Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005, as amended
Part IV of the Third Schedule of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005 - Rules as to calculation of means.
Social Welfare (Consolidated Supplementary Welfare Allowance) Regulations 2007 to 2011.
What counts as means
income from employment or self-employment
income from DEASP or HSE payments
the capital value of property, other than the claimant's own home
the value of any investments or savings (capital)
all income and the value of all property of which the claimant deprived himself or herself in order to qualify for SWA
income in cash, for example maintenance payments
benefit and Privilege for person's aged under 25
Income from Employment or Self-Employment
Subject to certain conditions, a claimant may work up to 30 hours per week in insurable employment and still qualify for SWA.
Gross income less PRSI and reasonable travel expenses is taken into account for the means test.
Other necessary expenses may be allowed in the case of self-employment.
Property and Capital
Section 35 of Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2007 provides for an amendment in the manner that capital is assessed for the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.
Property or Savings will be assessed on a weekly basis as follows:
disregard first € 5,000 of capital value of property or savings
assess next € 10,000 @ € 1 per € 1,000
assess next € 25,000 @ € 2 per € 1,000
assess remaining capital over € 40,000 @ € 4 per € 1,000
NOTE - The assessment of capital using the formula outlined above does not apply to Exceptional Needs Payments or Urgent Needs Payments.
For these payments, if the claimant has capital resources or availability to access alternative resources sufficient to meet the need it would be expected that the claimant provide for the need from that source.
In general the following items are not counted in the means test for SWA:
child benefit, including equivalent payments from other EU countries
€120.00 of earnings from rehabilitative employment
payments received from Tusla - the Child and Family Agency (Foster Care Allowance) for foster children
payments received from Tusla - the Child and Family Agency for accommodating children under the Child Care Act
income from Gaeltacht students
Domiciliary Care Allowance
grants or allowances arising in pursuance of a scheme promoting the welfare of blind people
money received from charitable organisations, for example St Vincent de Paul
compensation awarded by the Compensation Tribunal in respect of Hepatitis C contracted from certain blood products, to those who have disabilities caused by Thalidomide, and to those receiving compensation under the Residential Institutions Redress Board
maintenance grants paid by Local Authorities for Higher Education
any income paid as a Respite Care Grant should be disregarded as means for the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme
any income paid by way of Guardian's Payment (Contributory or Non-Contributory)
training allowance while in Rehabilitative Training
payments awarded under the CervicalCheck Screening ex Gratia Programme