The supplementary Welfare Allowance provides a basic weekly income to eligible people, who have little or no income.

Can farmers apply?
Yes. If they are experiencing severe income problems and desperately need some assistance. People with low incomes can also qualify for special weekly supplement under the scheme, to meet certain special needs. In addition payments can also be made in respect of urgent or exceptional need.

What type of payments are made?
- basic payments.
- supplements to existing social welfare payments.
- exceptional needs payments.
- urgent needs payments.

How do I qualify?
You must satisfy a means test which is more or less the same as that which applies for the social welfare assistance scheme.

How do I apply?
You should contact the Community Welfare Officer at your local Health Centre, as soon as the need arises.


Who can apply for a medical card?
Medical cards are available to individuals of families where the Health Board is satisfied that the income level is below a certain limit. (See below).

What services are provided through a medical card?
General Practitioner services, prescribed drugs and medicines, all in-patient services in public hospitals, all out-patient public hospital services, dental, ophthalmic and oral services and appliances, maternity and infant care services.

How is eligibility determined?
Eligibility is determined by a means test. The final decision rests with the Health Board. However, if the income is exceeded, in exceptional circumstances a medical card can be given if the condition is so serious as to require ongoing expensive treatment.

What are the income limits?


Who is eligible to apply?
Grants are available to students who will be 17 years of age on January 1 following the date of application.

What is the value of the grants?
The amount of grants payable will be determined by the means test as well as proximity (15 miles) to the particular institution. As fees are no longer payable for many courses, the grant now only refers to maintenance. However, certain courses do not attract free fees. In such cases the grant may be available to students who are already in receipt of a grant for such a course. The amount payable will be dependent on the means test as well as a proximity to the Department of Education institution.

Rates as of 1997/98 college year.

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