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Urgent Needs Payments (SWA)

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What an Urgent Needs Payment is

An Urgent Needs Payment (UNP) is a once-off payment made to persons who would not normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance but who have an urgent need which they cannot meet from their own resources or an alternative is not available at that time.

Examples of this would be to cater for immediate need in the aftermath of a fire or flood (excluding Humanitarian Assistance cases) in the provision of food, clothing or shelter.

How to qualify

Anyone may qualify for a special payment to meet an urgent need, for example, arising from a fire or flood. However, there is no automatic entitlement to such payments.

UNPs are payable at the discretion of department’s representative taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case.

Rate of payment

The amount of payment you get will depend on the type of assistance that you need.

Depending on your circumstances, for example, if you are working or when an insurance claim has been settled, you may have to pay some or all of this back at a later date


You should contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's Community Welfare Service at your local office.

An application form is available to download here or from your local office.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Claim Form

Claim Form for Supplementary Welfare Allowance


To help process your claim, you should have the following:

  • Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers numbers for yourself, your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and your children
  • proof of address
  • proof of residency (where relevant)
  • proof of identity, for example, a Public Services Card (if you have one), a passport, driving licence, work permit, immigration (GNIB) card, and so on
  • documents to show your income and financial situation, such as pay slips and bank statements

Operational Guidelines

Operational Guidelines: SWA - Urgent Needs Payments.