Applying for a Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) Payment

You can apply for assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) scheme through the Community Welfare Officer (CWO) in your local Health Centre. To find your nearest Health Centre/Community Welfare Officer click here. You can search by county and individual town. Listings include address, telephone number and opening hours.

In order to get an Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) payment you must:

  • Provide proof of identity and proof of address, and
  • Have applied for all possible benefits or assistance from both the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection or Health Board, and
  • Satisfy the Community Welfare Officer (CWO) that you need the particular payment, and
  • Satisfy the Habitual Residence rule (see Habitual Residence - Unemployment Payments page).
  • Satisfy the Genuinely Seeking Work rule (see Genuinely Seeking Work - Unemployment Payments) where you would normally be expected to apply for Jobseeker's Allowance/Jobseeker's Benefit.
  • Satisfy an SWA means test.

(This test is different to the means test for Jobseeker's Allowance). View the Freedom of Information Guidelines on the Means Test for SWA here.

If you did not qualify for a Social Welfare or Health Board payment because you have failed to provide information or material you may be refused a Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) payment. If this happens you may be able appeal that decision - contact your nearest Centre for the Unemployed or the INOU for assistance.

Last Updated: 08/03/2018