Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people who do not have enough income to meet their needs and those of their families.
How to qualify
If you have no income, you may be entitled to the basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA). If your weekly income is below the Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate for your family size, a payment may be made to bring your income up to the appropriate Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate.
If you have claimed a social welfare benefit or pension but it has not yet been paid and you have no other income, you may qualify for basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you are waiting for your payment. However, the amount paid while you are waiting will be deducted from the arrears of your social welfare payment.
If you have started work, you may qualify for basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance for up to 30 days while you are waiting for your wages.
You will normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance if you satisfy the following conditions:
EU/EEA and Swiss migrant workers who have been working in Ireland can access basic SWA and supplements without having habitual residence assessed, provided they have the right to reside in Ireland. However, people from the EU/EEA or Switzerland who move to Ireland in search of employment are subject to the habitual residence test in the normal way while looking for work
You will not normally qualify for basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance if you are:
in full-time work, that is, working for 30 hours or more per week*
in full-time education
involved in a trade dispute. However, you may claim Supplementary Welfare Allowance for your dependants
*This condition does not apply to your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. However, any income they have from work is taken into account in the means test.
Rates of payment
The basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance is made up of a personal rate for the applicant and additional amounts for any adult dependant or child dependant(s). A child dependant is a person under the age of 18 who lives with you and depends on you for support. If you have been getting SWA for at least 26 weeks, the age limit is 22 for a child dependant in full-time education or up to the end of the academic year after their 22nd birthday.
Supplementary Welfare Allowance rates from January 2020
Maximum personal rate
Increase for a qualified adult
Increase for a qualified child
Aged 25 and over
Under 12 Years €36.00 12 years and over €40.00
You should contact the Community Welfare Services at your local office
An application form is available to download here or from your local office