Rent Supplement is a payment for some people living in private rented housing who cannot provide for the cost of their housing from their own income.
In the past, you could apply for Rent Supplement if you were qualified for social housing support and were on the local authority’s housing list. People in this situation should now apply for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).
How to qualify
To qualify for Rent Supplement, the officer dealing with your case must be satisfied that, at the time of application, that you are in a lawful tenancy and:
had received a Rent Supplement payment within 12 months of the date of application
were living in private rented housing for a period of 183 days within the previous 12 months of the date of claim for Rent Supplement. This includes where you could afford the rent at the start of the lease, but now cannot as there has been a change in your situation.
It is also available for people who have been living in housing for homeless persons or an institution for 183 days or more during the 12 months before the application, and who do not qualify for social housing support.
If you need help with your rent but you don’t meet these conditions, you should contact your local authority to have your housing needs assessed.
Rates of payment
The amount of Rent Supplement is decided by the amount of rent you pay and how much income you are receiving or earning.
All persons receiving Rent Supplement are expected to contribute towards their rental costs. The minimum payment for a single person who is not subject to an age related reduction on their social welfare payment is €30 per week. A couple’s expected minimum weekly payment is €40.
The maximum amount of rent support provided is based on where you live and your family composition. Maximum rent limits have been agreed for some areas and for set household compositions. The current rent limits and the relevant areas are available here.
Extra financial support can be provided where your rent is above the current maximum rent limit. Where your rent is more than the rent limit, or your family composition are not set out, contact the officer dealing with your case.
Rent Supplement payments are fully exempt from income tax, PRSI and USC.
Part of the form will need to be filled in by your landlord or their agent. Your landlord will need to provide their tax reference number (normally their PPS number) to the department. If your landlord does not wish to fill in the form, a separate form (SWA 3C) is available below.
This form may be used by a landlord or landlord’s agent to provide the landlord’s tax reference number (or an explanation as to why such a number is not available) as required by Section 198(4A) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Action 2005 (as amended). Updated - Feb 2021
If your landlord does not have a tax reference number, they should state this in writing and explain why this is the case. Your Rent Supplement may not be paid if your landlord has not given their tax number or has not explained why they do not have one.
Another part of the form may need to be filled in by your local authority to confirm you are on their housing list and have a housing need.
Rent Application packs are available in your local Intreo Centre or Branch Office. You can also request a pack by emailing CWSforms@welfare.ie
Each pack contains detailed information and all the relevant application forms. When you have all the necessary documents ready you can forward your application to the National Rent Supplement Section. The processing of your application may be delayed if you do not supply all the information requested in the pack.
Documents you need to provide
You need to provide the following documents:
identity documents for you and your dependants, such as full birth certificates, passports, driving licence, work permit and Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
documents to show your income and financial situation, such as payslips and bank statements
documents to prove where you live, such as electricity, gas or phone bills
documents relating to your tenancy, such as your rent book, lease or tenancy agreement
All applications and documentation should be posted to: