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Social Protection | Availability of exceptional needs payments for families with insufficient income

To ask the Minister for Social Protection the extent to which exceptional needs payments are available in cases where family income is insufficient to meet their requirements; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


Under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme, my Department may make Additional Needs Payments (ANPs) to help meet expenses that a person cannot pay from their weekly income.  This is an overarching term used to refer to exceptional and urgent needs payments, and certain supplements to assist with ongoing or recurring costs that cannot be met from the client’s own resources, and which are deemed to be necessary.

The scheme is demand led and payments are made at the discretion of the officers administering the scheme considering the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case to ensure that the payments target those most in need of assistance.

This important support is not restricted to those already on a social welfare payment and may also be available to those working on a low income.

In 2022 alone, 97,224 ANPs were issued, at a total value of over €58 million.

Any person who is experiencing financial difficulty can apply for an ANP by completing a SWA1 form, which is widely available.  It can be downloaded at   It is available in all Intreo Centres and Branch Offices.  It can be requested by emailing or by calling 0818 60 70 80.  Customers can also request a SWA1 form by using the Request Application Form page available on

I trust this clarifies the matter.

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