Social welfare: Five little known payments that could mean you're missing out on thousands

By Thomas Telford

There are many different types of social welfare payments available for a whole host of reasons.

Many of these payments are far more well known than others.

Everyone knows about jobseekers' allowance, child benefit, and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, but there are a number of lesser-known benefits that people may be missing out on, Dublin Live reports.

Here are the top five welfare benefits that the general public probably don't know exist that could mean you're missing out on thousands.

Dietary Supplement Allowance

This allowance is a payment for those who have a special diet prescribed by their doctor and need help to pay for it.

It was stopped in 2014 for new applicants but is still available for those who applied for it before the cutoff.

Applicants are allowed to keep their payment as long as applicants have a specified medical condition, meet the conditions of the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) or satisfy a means test.

Its weekly rates are:

Low-lactose, milk-free diet €65.43
Gluten-free diet €68.43
High-protein, high-calorie diet €71.43
Altered consistencies (liquidised) diet €74.93

Exceptional Needs Payment

The Exceptional Needs Payment is a one-off payment to help meet the cost of items that the applicant could not be expected to reasonably afford out of his or her weekly income.

This includes "bedding or cooking utensils for someone setting up a home for the first time, visiting relatives in hospital or prison, funeral costs or for clothing in exceptional circumstances."

The payment can also help with electricity and heating bills while working from home.

You may be eligible for an Exceptional Needs Payment if:

  • you are living in the State
  • you satisfy a means test (all capital/property, except your home, is assessed in the means test)

Homemakers Scheme

The Homemaker's Scheme makes it easier for a homemaker to qualify for the higher state pension when the applicant reaches pension age.

A homemaker is categorised as a man or woman who provides full-time care for either a child under 12 or an ill or disabled person aged 12 or over.

To qualify, the applicant needs to:

  • be aged under 66
  • have started insurable employment or self-employment on or after the age of 16 and before the age of 56
  • not work full-time but you can work and earn less than €38 gross a week
  • care full-time for a child under 12 or an ill or disabled person

A full list of criteria can be found on gov.ie.

Living Alone Increase

The Living Alone increase is a payment for those on social welfare who are also living alone.

The rate of weekly increase is €19.

If you are 66 years or over and live alone, you will qualify if you are getting one of the following payments: State Pension (contributory/non-contributory), incapacity benefit, widows, widowers or civil partners payment.

The full list can be found here.

Deserted Wife's Allowance

Deserted Wife's Allowance is a means-tested payment made to women under 66 years without dependent children, who were deserted by their husbands.

This has since been replaced and renamed as One-Parent Family Payment although some women continue to receive Deserted Wife's Allowance because they qualified for the payment before 2 January 1997

The weekly rate is €203.

All of the necessary information about payment qualifications can be found on Gov.ie.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.