What are social welfare benefits?

Social welfare systems provide assistance to individuals and families through programs such as health care, food stamps, unemployment compensation, housing assistance, and child care assistance. 

Below are the benefits of social welfare

Access the EmployAbility ServiceProvides an employment support service for people with disabilities, injuries and illnesses.

Activation and Family Support Programme (AFSP)Funds proposals to cover the cost of training supports and education courses for people on social welfare.

Adoptive BenefitPayment to an employed or self-employed person who adopts a child.

After School Childcare SchemeA scheme which can provide childcare for a reduced rate to people who are returning to work or on certain benefits.

Appoint someone to act on your behalfHow to nominate someone to pick up your welfare payments on your behalf

Back to Education AllowanceA payment to allow people who are getting certain payments to take part in second or third-level education courses.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear AllowanceA means based payment to assist with back to school clothing and footwear expenses.

Back to Work Enterprise AllowanceThe Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme (BTWEA) is designed to encourage the long-term unemployed to take up self-employment opportunities by allowing them to retain a reducing portion of their social welfare payment

Back to Work Family DividendA weekly payment for every child in your family, to help families to move from social welfare into work.

Basic Supplementary Welfare AllowanceA weekly payment to people who do not have enough income to meet their needs and those of their families.

Benefit of Work EstimatorThe estimate will include income from your employment and any social welfare payments you may still be entitled to.

Blind PensionA means-tested payment paid to blind and visually impaired people who are habitually resident in Ireland.

Carer’s AllowanceA means-tested payment to people who are caring full-time for a person who has a disability or illness.

Carer’s BenefitPayment made to people who leave work to care for a person or people who need full-time care and attention.

Carer’s Support GrantAn annual payment made to carers. The scheme name was changed from the Respite Care Grant in 2016 to better reflect how the Grant is used.

Child BenefitA monthly payment to support parents.

Claiming an EU PensionClaiming an EU Pension if you are living in the EU or abroad

Claiming Benefits AbroadIf you are applying for insurance-based payments, any contributions made in other EU member states/EEA countries should be taken into account.

Community Employment ProgrammeA programme designed to help people who are long-term unemployed (or otherwise disadvantaged) to get back to work.

Constant Attendance AllowanceAn increase to the Disablement Benefit which is paid to people who need someone to help them daily at their home to attend to their personal needs.

COVID-19 Employer Refund SchemeThis payment has been replaced with the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy.

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment PaymentA payment to support employees and self-employed people who are unemployed during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

COVID-19 Part Time Job Incentive for the Self-Employed

COVID-19: Interpreting Service for Deaf PeopleDeaf Irish Sign Language users can get information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) using Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS)

Customer FeedbackOnline comment card to provide customer feedback to the department.

Customer Feedback FormA form to make a comment, compliment or complaint.

Daily Expenses AllowanceFrom 30 June 2024, applicants for International Protection in Ireland have entitlements under the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive.

Death Benefit Scheme (under the Occupational Injuries Scheme)Payments to surviving relatives of a person who may die because of an accident at work or from a disease that is related to their work.

Deduction of Local Property Tax (LPT)The deduction at source facility is available to customers who wish to pay their Local Property Tax over an extended period from their social protection payment.

Deserted Wife’s AllowanceA means-tested payment made to women under 66 years without dependent children, who were deserted by their husband.

Deserted Wife’s BenefitA social welfare payment made to women who were deserted by their husbands.

Dietary SupplementDiet Supplement is a payment to help with the cost of a special diet prescribed by your doctor or hospital consultant (it is no longer paid to new customers).

Disability AllowanceA weekly allowance paid to people with a disability.

Disability Awareness Support SchemeA scheme that provides funding for private sector employers for Disability Awareness Training for staff who work with a colleague who has a disability.

Disablement BenefitPayment if you lose certain physical or mental abilities as a result of something that happens to you because of your work.

Domiciliary Care AllowanceA monthly payment for a child with a severe disability.

Employee Retention GrantA scheme to help private sector employers support sick or injured employees.

Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences extended until 31 March 2024

Enterprise Support GrantThe Enterprise Support Grant (ESG) allows the department to provide financial support for new enterprises, in addition to income support under BTWEA and STEA, to jobseekers that are approved for those schemes. The grant is only available to current recipients of BTWEA or STEA.

Exceptional Needs Payments (SWA)A single payment to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure.

Farm AssistA means-tested payment for low-income farmers.

Find your local Intreo CentreFacility to help you find your local Intreo centre, social welfare and branch offices by county.

Fish AssistA means-tested payment for low-income fishermen or women.

Free Travel Card: How to Use ItA guide to using the Free Travel Card.

Free Travel SchemeAllows you to travel free of charge on all public transport owned by the State.

Freedom of Information requests for the departmentAn overview of how to access your records.

Fuel AllowanceA means-tested payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter.

General Enquiry

Get a Personal Public Service (PPS) NumberFacility to get a unique reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits, public services and information.

Guardian’s PaymentA payment available to people taking care of an orphan.

Health and Safety BenefitA weekly payment to pregnant or breastfeeding women who work night duty or in hazardous environments.

HomeCaringThe HomeCaring Periods Scheme makes it easier for you as a home carer to qualify for a higher rate of State Pension (Contributory) when you reach pension age.

Homemaker’s SchemeThis scheme makes it easier for you as a homemaker to qualify for a higher rate of State Pension (Contributory).

Household Benefits PackageThe Household Benefits Package allows you to apply for help with the costs of running your household.

How to close your claim for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment PaymentHow to close a claim for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

How to get a Public Service Card (PSC)How to make an appointment and renew a Public Service Card(PSC)

How to get a social welfare payment into your bankform for requesting your payment to be paid to your bank account

How to sign up for a basic MyGovID accountHow to sign up for a basic MyGovID account

Humanitarian Assistance SchemeEmergency financial assistance to households who are not able to meet costs for essential needs immediately following flooding or severe weather events.

Illness BenefitA scheme to support you if you cannot work in the short term because you’re sick or ill.

Incapacity SupplementAn extra payment for people getting Disablement Benefit.

Increase for a Qualified AdultAn increase in social welfare payment for people with a qualified adult who meet certain conditions.

Increase for a Qualified ChildAn increase in social welfare payment for people with children who meet certain conditions.

Increase for Living on a Specified IslandAn increase in social welfare payment for people living on certain islands off the coast of Ireland.

Injury BenefitA weekly payment made to you if you are unfit for work.

Insolvency Payments SchemeA scheme to protect pay-related entitlements of employees whose employer has become legally insolvent.

Intreo Employment and Income SupportsIntreo is a single point of contact for all employment and income supports.

Invalidity PensionA weekly payment to people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability and are covered by social insurance (PRSI).

Job Interview Interpreter GrantAllows deaf or hearing impaired people to attend job interviews with a sign language interpreter.

Jobplus Online Application for Employees

Jobseeker’s AllowanceA means tested payment for people who become unemployed.

Jobseeker’s BenefitPayment for people who become fully or partly unemployed.

Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self-EmployedA payment for people between 18 and 66 who become fully or partly unemployed and have paid enough pay-related social insurance (PRSI) contributions.

Jobseeker’s Transitional PaymentSupports lone parents moving into the workforce while they have young children.

JobsPlusAn employer incentive which encourages and rewards employers who employ jobseekers on the Live Register.

Living Alone IncreaseAn extra payment for people on social welfare payments who are living alone.

Magdalen Commission SchemeThe Magdalen Commission Scheme was set up under the recommendations of The Magdalen Commission Report of Mr Justice John Quirke 2013. The report recommended the immediate implementation of an ex gratia scheme comprising a combination of a lump sum and weekly cash payments.

Make a Holiday Request (for Jobseekers)Facility for jobseekers, who are in receipt of a social welfare payment, to notify department of their intention to take a holiday.

Make a Subject Access RequestHow to make a subject access request.

Make Work PayAn initiative that makes it easier for people with disabilities to feel secure in their decision to explore work options and maintain key benefits when working.

Maternity BenefitA payment for employed and self-employed people who are on maternity leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI).

Medical Care SchemeAllows you to get a refund of the costs of medical care and attention that are not paid by the HSE or covered by the Treatment Benefit Scheme.

MyWelfare.ieA portal that lets you access social welfare services online.

One-Parent Family PaymentA payment to men and women under 66 who are bringing up children who are not cohabiting

Parent’s BenefitA payment for parents who take parent’s leave from their work within their child’s first year.

Part-Time Job Incentive SchemeA scheme that allows certain long-term unemployed people to take up part-time work and get a special weekly allowance instead of their jobseeker’s payment.

Partial Capacity BenefitA payment if you can only work in a limited way based on a medical assessment.

Paternity BenefitPayment to employed and self-employed people who are new parents.

Personal Reader GrantA grant that allows blind or visually impaired people to employ a Personal Reader.

Professional Artists on Jobseeker’s AllowanceAllows professional artists who get Jobseeker’s Allowance to be exempt from returning to employment for their first year out of work.

PRSI RefundsRefunds of PRSI may be made to employers and employees where contributions have been paid in error.

Reasonable Accommodation FundIf you require a more accessible workplace or adapted equipment to do your job, you or your employer may be able to get a grant towards the costs of adapting premises or equipment.

Record of Death Abroad

Recovery of Benefits and Assistance (RBA) SchemeRecovery of Certain Benefits and Assistance Scheme enables the department to recover the value of certain illness-related social welfare payments from compensation awards made to persons as a consequence of personal injuries claims. The benefits are recovered from the compensator and not from the injured person.

Redundancy CalculatorCalculator to estimate potential redundancy entitlements.

Redundancy Payments SchemeAn overview of redundancy payments.

Rent SupplementA means-tested payment for certain people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources.

Rental Accomodation SchemeFacility offering advice on the Rental Accommodation Scheme, including where to apply.

Report Suspected Social Welfare FraudFacility that allows users to report suspected social welfare fraud to the Department of Social Protection.

Request a StatementRequest a statement on Welfare.ie or to be sent by post

Request a Statement of Social Welfare Payments with MyWelfareFacility that allows users request a statement of Social Welfare payments with MyWelfare.

Request Application FormMake a request for an application form from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Request Hard-Copy Form or PublicationFacility to allow users request a hard copy of a form or publication from the department.

Rural Social Scheme: Provides a supplementary income for low-income farmers and fishermen or women who are unable to earn an adequate living.

School Meals Scheme: Provides funding towards provision of food services for disadvantaged school children.

Self-Employed Benefits: A guide to benefits available to the self-employed in Ireland.

Services available to Jobseekers on MyWelfare.ie: Information on the services available to jobseekers on MyWelfare.ie.

Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA): The Short-Term Enterprise Allowance (STEA) gives support to people who have lost their job and want to start their own business.

Short-Time Work Support: Short-Time Work Support is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit and an income support payment if you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week.

Sign up for MyGovID: MyGovID gives you safe, online access to Irish government services.

Special Funeral Grant (under the Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme): A grant paid to a person who covers the funeral expenses for a deceased person who meets certain conditions.

State Pension (Contributory): A social insurance benefit which you may qualify for when you reach a certain age.

State Pension (Non-contributory): A payment paid to those aged 66 or over who don’t have the necessary social insurance (PRSI) contributions but satisfy a means test.

Submit Redundancy Claims: Facility that allows users submit a redundancy claim online.

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

Telephone Support Allowance: A weekly payment for people who live alone and are already in receipt of certain other social welfare payments.

Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme: The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy is a scheme which allow employers to pay their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ability Programme: Providing funding to projects which help young people with disabilities find employment.

Training Support Grant: A scheme designed to fund quick access to short-term training or related interventions for individual jobseekers.

Transfer of Private Pensions to Ireland for returning Irish Emigrants: How to transfer a returning emigrant may transfer pension funds to Ireland.

Treatment Benefit Scheme: Provides dental, optical and aural services to insured workers, the self-employed and retired people.

Tús (community work placement initiative): A community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people.

Unpaid Parental Leave: The Parental Leave Act, 1998, as amended, allows fathers and mothers to take unpaid leave to look after young children. You may take parental leave either as a single block of 18 weeks or, with your employer’s agreement, as smaller blocks, broken up over a period of time.

Urgent Needs Payments (SWA): A once-off payment made to persons who would not normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance but who have an urgent need.

Volunteer Development Worker Scheme

Wage Subsidy Scheme: A scheme that provides financial incentives to private sector employers to employ people with a disability.

Website Comment Card: This is a facility for you to offer feedback on the services provided.

Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant: Widowed: A one-off payment to widows, widowers or surviving civil partners with dependent children.

Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension: A weekly payment to the husband, wife or civil partner of a deceased person.

Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-contributory) Pension: A means-tested payment payable to a widow, widower or surviving partner.

Working Family Payment (WFP): A weekly, tax-free payment available to employees with children.

Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant: An overview of the Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant.

Youth Employment Support Scheme: A work experience placement programme which is targeted at young jobseekers aged 18-24 who are long-term unemployed or face barriers to employment.

Youth Employment Support Scheme (For Employers): A work experience placement programme which is targeted at young jobseekers aged 18-24 who are long-term unemployed or face barriers to employment.

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