Community Welfare Service and payments

What is the Community Welfare Service?

The Community Welfare Service provides additional financial support to people on a low income or getting a social welfare payment. It can also support people in particular hardship or during an emergency.

Community Welfare Officers (CWOs) decide on all applications for financial support to the Community Welfare Service. They are employed by the Department of Social Protection (DSP).

What support can I get from the Community Welfare Service?

Community Welfare Officers (CWOs) are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.

The payments made under this scheme include:

How is my application to the Community Welfare Service assessed?

Your application for financial support will be examined by a Community Welfare Officer. The CWO will look at all your sources of income and your expenses. They will then decide if you qualify for a payment.

A payment can be a once off payment or a regular supplement.

The CWO may want to meet with you to help them decide if you should get a payment.

A CWO can refer you to other state agencies and voluntary organisations depending on your needs. For example, you may be referred to the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).

Appealing a decision

If you are unhappy with a decision made by a CWO, you may appeal it.

You can appeal a CWO’s decision on a weekly Supplementary Welfare Allowance, Mortgage or Rent Supplement to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

Other payments such as the Additional Needs Payments cannot be appealed to the Social Welfare Appeals Office, but you can request the CWO’s decision be reviewed by another DSP officer.

There is no charge for getting a decision reviewed or making an appeal.

How to apply for a payment from theCommunity Welfare Service

For Rent Supplement you apply to the National Rent Supplement Unit. Find out more about applying for Rent Supplement.

For all other payments under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme, you apply to the CWO at your local Intreo Centre or social welfare branch office.

To apply for a payment, you can:

  • Make an appointment with the CWO or
  • Post your application form or drop it into your local Intreo Centre or social welfare branch office.

If you post your application form or drop it into your local Intreo or branch office, the CWO may issue a payment or arrange an appointment to meet with you.

How to get an application form

Download and print the application form for an Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA1) (pdf) or get an application form at your local Intreo Centre or social welfare branch office.

You can also request application forms online.

Phone the Community Welfare Service for an application form: 0818 60 70 80

What you need to provide when you apply

You will need some of the following to apply:

  • PPS number for you and people in your family that are dependent on you such as your partner or children
  • Proof of your identity such as Public Services Card, Driving Licence or Passport
  • Proof of address such as a household bill
  • Proof of residency such as an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or EU/EEA passport or national ID card
  • Proof of income and financial situation such as payslips and bank statements

For general information about the Community Welfare Service phone: 0818 60 70 80

Page edited: 13 September 2022