Rent Assistance

Q. Am I eligible for Social Welfare Assistance?

A. If you are getting a social welfare or health board payment, you may qualify for a rent supplement from your local health board.

The amount of rent supplement will be worked out by the health board's Community Welfare Officer and will generally ensure that your income after paying rent does not fall below a minimum level. This level is the Supplementary Welfare Allowance minus 7.62 euro (10 euro for social welfare pensioners).

Rent supplement is paid by a weekly or a monthly cheque, usually in arrears.

Q. What regulations govern eligibility?

* You are not in full-time education (with some exceptions)
* You are not in full-time employment
* You are not involved in a trade dispute You are a tenant and the accommodation is suitable to your needs Your income after you have paid your rent is less than the basic Social Welfare Allowance minus 7.62 euro.
* You have, if required to, applied for local authority housing
* You have not left a local authority home without good reason
* You have not been excluded from a local authority housing list because you refused to accept a reasonable offer of accommodation
* You have not been refused housing, evicted or excluded by a local authority on the grounds of anti-social behavior
* You need accommodation, you cannot afford to pay rent, and the rent is reasonable compared with similar accommodation in the area.

Q. How can I appeal decision made by the health board?

A. If you are not satisfied with a decision made in relation to rent supplement, first find out why the decision was made by asking the Community Welfare Officer. If you have any extra documentation to back up your case, give this to the Community Welfare Officer.

Then talk to the Senior Community Welfare Officer about the decision. He/she can change the decision if your case deserves it.

If the decision is not changed, then ask for an appeal form. Put in as much detail as possible and keep photocopies of everything.
If your appeal is not successful, you are entitled to have the appeal referred to the Chief Appeals Office in the Social Welfare Appeals Office. You can ask for a face-to-face hearing and you can bring along a representative to help you argue your case.

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