KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: A dig-out with unexpected expenses

July 4th, 2022 9:45 PM

By Southern Star Team

Payments are considered for various reasons including an increase in your fuel or electricity costs. Even if you’re unsure you qualify, the advice is to apply. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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WITH the cost of living high, and prices rising all the time, it is worth considering whether you may qualify for the Additional Needs Payment. Anne O’Donovan, development manager with South Munster Citizens Information Service outlines what’s involved ….

What is the Additional Needs payment?

It’s a payment to help you with an expense that you cannot pay from your weekly income.

Anne stresses that you don’t have to be in receipt of a social welfare payment to get it and confirms that you may get this payment if you are working and on a low income.

‘When you apply for this payment, your income and circumstances will be assessed to find out if you qualify.

There is no set rate for the payment and the amount you get will depend on your individual circumstances and what you need help with,’ she said.

It is not a type of loan and you don’t have to pay it back, but you must be living in Ireland in order to apply for this payment. 

What can I get the payment for?

You can get it to help you with an expense that you cannot pay from your weekly income.

Here are some examples, but Anne says if in doubt, apply:

• An increase in your fuel or electricity costs

• Funeral costs

• Bedding and cooking utensils, if you are setting up home for the first time

• Food, clothing and shelter after an emergency event such as a fire or flood

• Recurring travel costs to hospital

• Visiting a relative in hospital or prison

• Mortgage interest repayments

• Paying for private rented accommodation

• Extra costs of children starting school.

How to apply for an Additional Needs Payment?

To apply you must complete an SWA1 form.  You can get this form from your local CIC, the Community Welfare Service or alternatively, you can get it online.

If you need help completing the form, Anne recommends you call your local CIC for an appointment.  Staff will be happy to help. 

Once you have the form completed, you will need to meet with the Community Welfare Officer for your area and bring the following information with you:

• 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 further information about can call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in West Cork on 0818 07 8390. They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you.

The offices are staffed from 10am-5pm from Monday to Thursday and on Friday from 10am-4pm.

Alternatively you can email [email protected] or log on to

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