Ireland’s cost of living hit its highest level in 38 years last month with prices for energy, housing, groceries and more becoming increasingly expensive each month.

Moving into the colder months, households are expected to experience major increases in their heating bills as well.

Now is the perfect time to apply for social welfare payments you may not have qualified for before.

However, updates made by the government in order to tackle the cost of living might have changed that.

Read more: Cost of living Ireland: Leo Varadkar reveals three money saving measures that could be on the way

Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)

The Housing Assistance Payment is a social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need.

Those receiving the support must have their rent meet the rent limits, which are dependent on the size of your family.

However, local authorities are now able to go up to 35% above the HAP rent limits.

You can learn more about this payment here.

Additional Needs Payment

The Additional Needs Payment was announced earlier this year and aims to help people with an expense that they cannot pay from their weekly income.

There is no set amount people can receive as it instead depends on your circumstances and the type of help you need.

You can get the Additional Needs Payment for:

  • An increase in your fuel or electricity costs

  • Essential repairs to property, including motor vehicles and replacing household appliances and furniture

  • Funeral costs

  • Deposits for private rented accommodation

  • 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

  • This is not a complete list, other expenses can be covered too

You can learn more about this payment here.

Four social welfare benefits to help everyone pay cost of living increases
Four social welfare benefits to help everyone pay cost of living increases

Fuel Allowance

To receive a Fuel Allowance, people must meet the criteria set out by the scheme, which includes living alone, living in Ireland and getting one of the qualifying social welfare payments.

The government has given an extra once off payment of Fuel Allowance this year which was paid on top of the normal seasonal allowance that is paid during the winter months.

With Budget 2023 expected to be announced on 27 September, the government is considering offering more once-off payments.

You can learn more about this payment here.

National Childcare Scheme

The National Childcare Scheme has two types of subsidies for children who are aged over six months.

The first is a universal subsidy for children under the age of three and children over three years old who have not yet qualified for the Early Childhood Care and Education programme.

The age limit was recently extended to all children up to the age of 15.

The second subsidy is a means tested income-assessed subsidy for children up to 15.

You can learn more about this payment here.

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