Before you start to calculate your Rent Supplement you must check whether you qualify. More information on the qualifying criteria is available in our document on Rent Supplement.
Calculating Rent Supplement is very complex. The Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) will calculate your entitlement to Rent Supplement. If you have any questions about your entitlement to Rent Supplement you should contact your local DSP representative.
This document shows you the steps involved in calculating Rent Supplement. There are 5 steps:
Find your weekly household income. For example:
|Income source||Amount per week|
|Assessable income from employment - see Note 1|
|SOLAS training allowances|
|Social welfare payments|
|Family Income Supplement|
|Cash income (for example, maintenance)|
|Capital (for example, property, savings and investments - see Note 2|
Assessable income from employment is gross income less PRSI and reasonable travel expenses.
How your travel expenses are assessed will depend on where you live.
The capital value of property (except your own home), investments and savings will be assessed on a weekly basis as follows:
First €5,000 is not taken into account
Next €10,000 is assessed at €1 per €1,000
Next €25,000 is assessed at €2 per €1,000
Any capital over €40,000 is assessed at €4 per €1,000.
Subtract the basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) weekly rate for your household from the weekly household income you calculated in Step 1.
If you are 25 years of age and over, the basic SWA weekly rate in 2014 is:
|Child dependent||€29.80 (per child)|
People 25 and under years of age get a reduced age related rate of Supplementary Welfare Allowance. However, there are exceptions and some people under 25 may get the higher basic SWA rate. More information on the SWA rate for people 25 and under can be found in our document on Supplementary Welfare Allowance.
Subtract any income not taken into account in the assessment for Rent Supplement. Income not taken into account is also known as an income disregard.
After you have subtracted all the relevant disregards from your weekly income (from which you have subtracted the basic SWA rate in Step 2) you have calculated your weekly assessable income.
Main income disregards
The following items are not taken into account as income for calculating Rent Supplement:
Income from working as a home help with the HSE used to be disregarded for all social assistance payments but from January 2012 this income is taken into account.
Additional Household Income Disregard
The Additional Household Income Disregard is a certain amount of your household income which is not taken into account. €75 of any additional household income is not taken into account. Also, 25% of your additional household income over €75 is not taken into account. There is no upper limit on the amount that can be disregarded.
Additional Household Income includes income from the following:
To calculate the Additional Household Income Disregard:
Additional household income
Rehabilitative Earnings Disregard
If you are working and getting Disability Allowance or Blind Pension you can either use the Rehabilitative Earnings Disregard or the Household Income Disregard (but not both). Use whichever is in your interest.
Rehabilitative Earnings Disregard is a certain amount of your income from rehabilitative work which is not taken into account. €120 from rehabilitative training or employment is not taken into account in the assessment for Rent Supplement. All earnings over €120 from rehabilitative training or employment are taken into account and will affect your Rent Supplement.
Find the total amount you must pay towards your rent. To do this, add your weekly assessable income (this is the total figure after Step 3) and your minimum Household Contribution. You will always pay at least €30 towards your rent. Couples pay €40 towards their rent.
Weekly assessable income €
Add Household Contribution €____
Total contribution to rent €
Note 3: Further information about the Household Contribution
The household (this is the claimant and may also include a qualified adult and qualified children) must contribute at least €30 towards rent. If you are one of a couple you contribute €40.
Non-dependent household members who are solely dependent on a personal social welfare payment must also contribute at least €30. However, if Benefit and Privilege has been assessed against your social welfare payment you will not have to contribute €30.
The Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) can reduce the amount of Rent Supplement payable by an amount which in their opinion is payable by each non-dependent household member in employment. Custom and practice is that the assessable income of the non-dependent household member (that is, gross income less PRSI and travel costs to work) is divided by the appropriate rate of SWA for their situation which is then multiplied by €30 to establish their liability to contribute.
If your 26 year old daughter is living with you and earning €700 per week:
€700 ÷ €186 (SWA) = €3.76
Multiply 3.76 by €30 = €112.80
In this case, your Rent Supplement is reduced by €112.80
A couple over 65 with an income equal or less than the State Pension (Contributory) for their situation will contribute €35 towards their rent. A couple who both have State Pensions (Contributory) and no other income will also contribute €35 towards their rent.
To calculate your Rent Supplement you subtract your total contribution from your rent.
In Step 4, you found your total contribution towards your rent. Now you need to find out how much your weekly rent is. You may already know how much your weekly rent is. If you pay your rent by month, you must multiply your monthly rent figure by 12 and divide it by 52 to get your weekly rent figure. Your rent must not be above the maximum limit set for your area.
Weekly rent €
Less your contribution - €_____
Total Rent Supplement €
To get your weekly rent figure, multiply the monthly rent figure by 12 and divide by 52.
Susan and Paul are living in Dublin and paying €900 per month for accommodation - see Note 4 below.
To get the weekly rent figure, multiply €900 by 12 and divide by 52.
Monthly rent €900
Note 4: A maximum rent level is set for each county. The maximum rent level for your county is set by the Department of Social Protection. The Community Welfare Service may set lower rates within these limits. If your actual rent is higher than the local maximum, you may be refused Rent Supplement.
Contact the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local health office.
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.