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Capital and social welfare payments


If you are applying for a social assistance payment you must satisfy a means test. All your sources of income (for example, cash income, employment, capital and maintenance) are assessed by the Department of Social Protection (DSP).

The purpose of this document is to explain how the DSP assesses your means from capital for social welfare payments (with the exception of Family Income Supplement as capital is not assessed in this income test). More information on other sources of income and income not taken into account is available in our document on the means test.


To find your means from capital, first you must calculate your total capital value. You do this by adding together all your sources of capital (for example, property, savings and investments). Then you apply the relevant formula below.

The formula for assessing means from capital for all social welfare payments (except Disability Allowance and Supplementary Welfare Allowance) is as follows:

Capital Weekly means assessed
First €20,000 Nil
Next €10,000 €1 per €1,000
Next €10,000 €2 per €1,000
Balance €4 per €1,000

The formula for assessing means from capital for Disability Allowance is as follows:

Capital Weekly means assessed
First €50,000 Nil
Next €10,000 €1 per €1,000
Next €10,000 €2 per €1,000
Balance (any capital over €70,000) €4 per €1,000

The formula for assessing means from capital for Supplementary Welfare Allowance is as follows:

Capital Weekly means assessed
First €5,000 Nil
Next €10,000 €1 per €1,000
Next €25,000 €2 per €1,000
Balance €4 per €1,000

How property is treated

Your own home

The home in which you live is not included in the assessment of your means from capital unless you are getting an income from it. If you are getting an income from your home (for example, if you have rented a room in the house) that income is assessed. However, income from renting a room in your home is not assessed if you are getting a State Pension (Non-Contributory) or a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension and not renting the room means that you would be living alone.

Selling your home

If you sell your home, the proceeds of the sale are normally taken into account as means. If you are living in accommodation which no longer suits you or which you are no longer able to maintain, you may be able to sell your home and move to more suitable accommodation and have up to €190,500 of the proceeds of the sale exempt from the means test.

This exemption only applies if you are getting one of the following payments:

  • State Pension (Non-Contributory)
  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension (if you are 66 years of age or over)
  • Disability Allowance
  • Blind Pension

The exemption only applies if you are getting one of the above social welfare payments and sell your house in order to:

  • Buy or rent more suitable alternative accommodation
  • Move into a private nursing home which is registered under the Health (Nursing Homes) Act 1990
  • Move in with a person who getting a carer's payment to care for you
  • Move to sheltered or special housing in the voluntary, co-operative, statutory or private sectors

Usually the first €190,500 of the sale proceeds is not taken into account. However, if you use the proceeds of the sale to buy more suitable accommodation, the balance of the proceeds after buying the new accommodation is exempt up to a limit of €190,500.

Investment income from the sale of your home

Any benefit you get from investing the sale proceeds is assessable as means. Any interest paid and retained is assessable as capital.

However, the Department of Social Protection's Operational Guidelines on Means Assessment state that an allowance should be made where a person has significant maintenance expenses, such as nursing home costs, which are met out of interest payments. In such cases, the interest on the exempted capital (up to a maximum of €190,500) may be disregarded as means.

Leaving your home but not selling
If, due to old age or incapacity, you leave your home either on a temporary basis or indefinitely, the value of your home will not be assessed as means. However, if it is put to profitable use (for example, rented out), the capital value of the house will then be assessed as means.

Second homes and income from lettings

The home in which you live is not included in the assessment of your means from capital (see above). If you own a house which is let, you are assessed on the capital value of the property. You will not be assessed on the income from the letting. Any outstanding mortgage registered against the property is deducted from the market value to find the capital value.

However, if the mortgage on the home in which you live has been re-structured to raise capital to buy the second property, this re-structured mortgage will not be deducted from the capital assessment of the second property.

For all second homes the property must be capable of being sold, let or put to profitable use before a capital value assessment is applied.

More information about the assessment of capital as means can be found on the Department of Social Protection website.

Situations where rental income is assessed

Usually income from renting a property is not assessed. However there are some situations where rental income is assessed.

  • If you have a life interest in a property the rental income is assessed instead of the capital value.
  • If you are claiming an increase for a qualified adult with your social insurance payment and if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant owns property (in their own right or jointly with you) rental income from this property will be assessed for payment of an Increase for a Qualified Adult . This rental income is assessed as cash in the means test and the capital value of the property is not assessed. However, the capital value will be assessed in the normal way if the property is not rented – see ‘Capital value’ above.
  • If you apply for Family Income Supplement (FIS) rental income from the letting of property or land will be taken into account when assessing your income (the capital value is not assessed).

Assessment of capital for couples

If you have a joint account with your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant, legally the total amount in the account is owned by each of you. Therefore it could be assessed in full against each of you. However, if you and your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant are both getting means-tested social assistance payments, it will be assessed either on a shared basis or against only one of you. You can read more about assessing the means of a couple for social assistance payments.

Further information

Using the table below - find your total capital value and your weekly means as assessed by the Department of Social Protection.

From To Assessed Means
0.00 euro 20,999.99 euro 0.00 euro
21,000.00 euro 21,999.99 euro 1.00 euro
22,000.00 euro 22,999.99 euro 2.00 euro
23,000.00 euro 23,999.99 euro 3.00 euro
24,000.00 euro 24,999.99 euro 4.00 euro
25,000.00 euro 25,999.99 euro 5.00 euro
26,000.00 euro 26,999.99 euro 6.00 euro
27,000.00 euro 27,999.99 euro 7.00 euro
28,000.00 euro 28,999.99 euro 8.00 euro
29,000.00 euro 29,999.99 euro 9.00 euro
30,000.00 euro 30,999.99 euro 10.00 euro
31,000.00 euro 31,999.99 euro 12.00 euro
32,000.00 euro 32,999.99 euro 14.00 euro
33,000.00 euro 33,999.99 euro 16.00 euro
34,000.00 euro 34,999.99 euro 18.00 euro
35,000.00 euro 35,999.99 euro 20.00 euro
36,000.00 euro 36,999.99 euro 22.00 euro
37,000.00 euro 37,999.99 euro 24.00 euro
38,000.00 euro 38,999.99 euro 26.00 euro
39,000.00 euro 39,999.99 euro 28.00 euro
40,000.00 euro 40,999.99 euro 30.00 euro
41,000.00euro 41,999.99 euro 34.00 euro
42,000.00 euro 42,999.99 euro 38.00 euro
43,000.00 euro 43,999.99 euro 42.00 euro
44,000.00 euro 44,999.99 euro 46.00 euro
45,000.00 euro 45,999.99 euro 50.00 euro
46,000.00 euro 46,999.99 euro 54.00 euro
47,000.00 euro 47,999.99 euro 58.00 euro
48,000.00 euro 48,999.99 euro 62.00 euro
49,000.00 euro 49,999.99 euro 66.00 euro
50,000.00 euro 50,999.99 euro 70.00 euro
51,000.00 euro 51,999.99 euro 74.00 euro
52,000.00 euro 52,999.99 euro 78.00 euro
53,000.00 euro 53,999.99 euro 82.00 euro
54,000.00 euro 54,999.99 euro 86.00euro
55,000.00 euro 55,999.99 euro 90.00 euro
56,000.00 euro 56,999.99 euro 94.00 euro
57,000.00 euro 57,999.99 euro 98.00 euro
58,000.00 euro 58,999.99 euro 102.00 euro
59,000.00 euro 59,999.99 euro 106.00 euro
60,000.00 euro 60,999.99 euro 110.00 euro
61,000.00 euro 61,999.99 euro 114.00 euro
62,000.00 euro 62,999.99 euro 118.00 euro
63,000.00 euro 63,999.99 euro 122.00 euro
64,000.00 euro 64,999.99 euro 126.00 euro
65,000.00 euro 65,999.99 euro 130.00 euro
66,000.00 euro 66,999.99 euro 134.00 euro
67,000.00 euro 67,999.99 euro 138.00 euro
68,000.00 euro 68,999.99 euro 142.00 euro
69,000.00 euro 69,999.99 euro 146.00 euro
70,000.00 euro 70,999.99 euro 150.00 euro
71,000.00 euro 71,999.99 euro 154.00 euro
72,000.00 euro 72,999.99 euro 158.00 euro
73,000.00 euro 73,999.99 euro 162.00 euro
74,000.00 euro 74,999.99 euro 166.00 euro
75,000.00 euro 75,999.99 euro 170.00 euro
76,000.00 euro 76,999.99 euro 174.00 euro
77,000.00 euro 77,999.99 euro 178.00 euro
78,000.00 euro 78,999.99 euro 182.00 euro
79,000.00 euro 79,999.99 euro 186.00 euro
80,000.00 euro 80,999.99 euro 190.00 euro
81,000.00 euro 81,999.99 euro 194.00 euro
82,000.00 euro 82,999.99 euro 198.00 euro
83,000.00 euro 83,999.99 euro 202.00 euro
84,000.00 euro 84,999.99 euro 206.00 euro
85,000.00 euro 85,999.99 euro 210.00 euro
86,000.00 euro 86,999.99 euro 214.00 euro
87,000.00 euro 87,999.99 euro 218.00 euro
88,000.00 euro 88,999.99 euro 222.00 euro
89,000.00 euro 89,999.99 euro 226.00 euro
90,000.00 euro 90,999.99 euro 230.00 euro
91,000.00 euro 91,999.99 euro 234.00 euro
92,000.00 euro 92,999.99 euro 238.00 euro
93,000.00 euro 93,999.99 euro 242.00 euro
94,000.00 euro 94,999.99 euro 246.00 euro
95,000.00 euro 95,999.99 euro 250.00 euro
96,000.00 euro 96,999.99 euro 254.00 euro
97,000.00 euro 97,999.99 euro 258.00 euro
98,000.00 euro 98,999.99 euro 262.00 euro
99,000.00 euro 99,999.99 euro 266.00 euro
100,000.00 euro 100,999.99 euro 270.00 euro
101,000.00 euro 101,999.99 euro 274.00 euro
102,000.00 euro 102,999.99 euro 278.00 euro
103,000.00 euro 103,999.99 euro 282.00 euro
104,000.00 euro 104,999.99 euro 286.00 euro
105,000.00 euro 105,999.99 euro 290.00 euro
106,000.00 euro 106,999.99 euro 294.00 euro
107,000.00 euro 107,999.99 euro 298.00 euro
108,000.00 euro 108,999.99 euro 302.00 euro
109,000.00 euro 109,999.99 euro 306.00 euro
110,000.00 euro 110,999.99 euro 310.00 euro
111,000.00 euro 111,999.99 euro 314.00 euro
112,000.00 euro 112,999.99 euro 318.00 euro
113,000.00 euro 113,999.99 euro 322.00 euro
114,000.00 euro 114,999.99 euro 326.00 euro
115,000.00 euro 115,999.99 euro 330.00 euro
116,000.00 euro 116,999.99 euro 334.00 euro
117,000.00 euro 117,999.99 euro 338.00 euro
118,000.00 euro 118,999.99 euro 342.00 euro
119,000.00 euro 119,999.99 euro 346.00 euro
120,000.00 euro 120,999.99 euro 350.00 euro
121,000.00 euro 121,999.99 euro 354.00 euro
122,000.00 euro 122,999.99 euro 358.00 euro
123,000.00 euro 123,999.99 euro 362.00 euro
124,000.00 euro 124,999.99 euro 366.00 euro
125,000.00 euro 125,999.99 euro 370.00 euro
126,000.00 euro 126,999.99 euro 374.00 euro
127,000.00 euro 127,999.99 euro 378.00 euro
128,000.00 euro 128,999.99 euro 382.00 euro
129,000.00 euro 129,999.99 euro 386.00 euro
130,000.00 euro 130,999.99 euro 390.00 euro
Page edited: 27 April 2015



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Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.