Social Protection Services

The responsible body for welfare payments in Ireland is the Department of Social Protection.

Translation / Interpretive and Sign Language Services

The following services are provided to customers where required:
    • A translation service for documents required in relation to a claim.
    • A language interpretive service provided by 3-way phone conversation.
    • A face to face service, where an accredited language interpreter attends in person, to facilitate customer/staff interaction.
    • A Sign Language Interpreter to facilitate customer/staff interaction.
    • Written information or application forms in Braille, Audio or Large Print.

    Here is a link to a page of the Social Protection website where you can find further information -

Eligibility for different payments will depend on factors such as residency status, means and whether or not a habitual residence condition
has been met. FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) have provided a simple guide to the Habitual Residence Condition which is available here.

The Department of Social Protection website has relevant information and useful links for persons coming to Ireland or returning to Ireland from other countries. To find out more, go to this page.

Your Social Security Rights in Ireland - A Guide for EU Citizens which has information on social welfare payments available in Ireland has also been published in English, Irish, French, German, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish and Spanish.

Detailed information, including the qualifying conditions for all schemes and application forms are available on the Department of Social Protection website You can also get information on social welfare schemes by calling to your local Social Welfare Office. Click here for a list of local Social Welfare Local Offices. To contact the information section of the Department of Social Protection, telephone: 1890 66 22 44 (open Monday to Friday, 9:00a.m to 5:00pm)

In general, payments are divided into three types:

Contributory payments are based on a person’s Pay-Related Social Insurance (PRSI) record. Therefore, whether you qualify for a payment depends on you having a certain number of PRSI contributions.
Examples of contributory payments include:
· Jobseeker’s Benefit
· Illness Benefit

    Non-Contributory payments are related to your means.
    Examples of non-contributory payments include:
    · Jobseeker’s Allowance
    · Disability Allowance
    · Family Income Supplement
    · Carer’s Allowance

    Other types of payments and benefits do not depend on PRSI contributions or means.
    Examples include:
    · Child Benefit
    · Free Travel Pass for persons aged 66 and over

    Community Welfare Services

    Community Welfare Services were formerly provided by Community Welfare Officers (CWOs) who worked for the HSE. The services are now provided by representatives of the Department of Social Protection who continue in the main to be based at clinics in HSE health centres. You can find the addresses of these representatives at this page of the Social Protection website.

    The types of payments made by these representatives of the Department of Social Protection include:

      • Supplementary Welfare Allowance,
      • Rent Supplement,
      • Mortgage Interest Supplement,
      • Diet and Heating Supplements,
      • Back to School Clothing and Footwear Scheme and exceptional needs payments for items such as buggies, clothing, funeral costs etc.

    Further information: For additional information on the Social Welfare system in Ireland and the different types of payments, call into your local Citizen's Information Centre or visit the Citizens Information website.

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