Income and Finance

Why we ask about Income and Finance

Individuals and families may need support to access a basic income. Many people are not aware of the full range of supports available through the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) and other state agencies such as the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed (INOU). In addition some Service Users may have difficulties with debt management, require some basic budgeting support or may benefit from a referral to charities working with people experiencing poverty.

It is important to:

  • Ensure the Service User is aware of their entitlements and assist in these being accessed through the correct service.
  • Ensure that the Service User has support for any financial management issues.
  • Ensure that misinformation regarding benefits is not preventing the Service User from accessing work or training opportunities

Details of schemes are subject to frequent change, and therefore the information set out here should not be used to make judgments concerning benefits. Up to date/comprehensive information is available from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) website and local Intreo Centres, from the Citizens Information Service or the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed. The INOU publish a yearly “Working for Work” guide exploring welfare options in more detail. This guide is available free from the INOU.

Social Welfare Payments

If a Service User has a query regarding their current social welfare payments, needs to apply for a new payment or just needs to update their details they should attend their local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Local and Branch Office (see

In order to assess whether a Service User is availing of all relevant social welfare payments you should:

  1. Determine exactly which type of primary payment the individual or family is availing of (e.g. Jobseekers Allowance or Benefit, One Parent Family Payment, Illness Benefit)
  2. Check the Citizens Information website ( – Social welfare section) to see what additional benefits (if any) the Service User can avail of based on their primary payment. For example those in receipt of One-Parent Family may also be eligible for other benefits such as Fuel Allowance, Working Family Payment, Rent Supplement or a medical card.
  3. Depending of the level of support required you can advise the Service User of how and where to apply for any additional benefits or print the forms and assist them in completing the form. Most forms are available via the or

Community Welfare Service

The Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme consists of a basic payment, called Supplementary Welfare Allowance, and other financial supplements for certain expenses you may not be able to meet, including emergency situations. It is administered by the DEASP representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) in the local office.

NOTE: You can assist both the Service User and the CWO to reduce waiting times by ensuring that the relevant form is completed prior to attending the local office. This form (SWA 1) is available online

Budgeting Support

Some Service Users may need support to deal with debt issues or may simply want to be able to manage their money more effectively. MABS (the Money Advice and Budgeting Service) offer a variety of supports to help people deal with and prevent debt. MABS runs a Helpline (0761 07 2000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

MABS also provide excellent online tools that are very easy to use. These can used as part of keyworking sessions and can be very useful for Service Users who may not have debt issues but may simply want to manage their finances more effectively. See: and Appendix 10.1 for a copy of a basic budget plan.