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Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) Supplements

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) Supplements are

A Supplementary Welfare Allowance supplement may be paid to assist you meet ongoing additional expenses which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.

How to qualify

Eligible people would normally be in receipt of a social welfare or Health Service Executive (HSE) payment. However, there is no automatic entitlement to such payments.

A supplement under the SWA scheme may be payable at the discretion of the department’s representative taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case.

You may be eligible for a SWA supplement if you:

  • are living in the State
  • satisfy the habitual residence condition
  • satisfy a means test (all capital or property, except your home, is assessed in the means test)

You won't normally be eligible if you:

  • have access to alternative resources, to meet the need
  • are in full-time work (30 hours or more per week)
  • are in full-time education
  • are involved in a trade dispute or on strike. However, you may apply for an Exceptional Needs Payment for your dependent adult or dependent child

Rate of payment

The amount of payment you get will depend on a means test and the type of assistance you need.


You should contact the Community Welfare Service at your local office

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

Claim Form: Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA1)

Claim Form for Supplementary Welfare Allowance/ Exceptional Needs Payment


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

  • Personal Public Service (PPS) 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
  • documents to show your income and financial situation, such as pay slips and bank statements

Additional Information

A heat supplement may be awarded in cases where a person has exceptional essential heating costs due to ill-health or infirmity.