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17,000 apply for emergency social welfare payments for food, fuel and clothing in July alone

The number of applications has been rising month-on-month in light of the cost-of-living crisis.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

AROUND 17,000 PEOPLE applied for emergency social welfare payments last month to cover basic necessities such as food, clothing, fuel and utility bills. 

The additional needs payment is a payment available to a person who cannot pay an expense from their weekly income.

A person can receive the payment even if they are not getting a social welfare payment and it also may be available to a person who is working or on a low income. Those on social welfare can also avail of the payment. 

The number of applications has been rising month-on-month in light of the cost-of-living crisis. 

In July, the Department of Social Welfare received over 17,000 applications for an additional needs payment.

In June, the department received nearly 15,000 applications while in May the number of applications received was 11,700.

There has been a jump of over 10,000 applications on April’s figures, when just 6,500 applications were received. 

A spokesperson for the department told The Journal that it recently launched a communications campaign to further promote the additional needs payment and to increase awareness of the service – “particularly among those who may not normally access social welfare supports, including those working on a low income”.

Under the scheme, they said an additional needs payment is made to people who need help with fuel, utility bills, repairs to or replacement of household appliances, clothing, child related items such as prams, and assistance with funerals and travel.

“The Government has provided funding of €45.75 million for the additional needs payment in 2022. Expenditure is not capped as it is demand led and no qualifying application will be refused,” said the spokesperson.

In order to be eligible, weekly income limits are set at €350 for a single person, €450 for a couple with no children and between €551 and €1,318 depending on the number of children in the household. 

However, even with the criteria set out, community welfare officers can ultimately use their own discretion and decide upon a person’s circumstances. 

Anyone who needs support should contact the Department either through their local Intreo or Branch Office or by phoning 0818 60 70 80.

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