If you have special dietary and heating needs you may be able to get additional weekly supplements under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.
You must satisfy the specific requirements for each supplement - see 'Rules' below.
However, people who were getting Diet Supplement before 1 February 2014 can continue to keep the payment (for as long as they continue to be entitled to the payment).
You are entitled to retain the diet supplement for a prescribed diet, if you:
To get a diet supplement, a hospital consultant or a hospital registrar must certify:
A gluten-free diet for an adult or a child aged 18 to 22 may be prescribed by your family doctor (GP).
In the case of diet supplements, for example, for people with cystic fibrosis, the long-term illness scheme book may be accepted as verification that such a diet has been prescribed. The length of time for which the diet is being prescribed and the type of diet must be stated.
The weekly cost of each prescribed diet is set by the Department of Social Protection. The following diets qualify for the diet supplement:
|Qualifying prescribed diets||Cost of diet, €|
|Low-lactose, milk-free diet||65.43|
|High-protein, high-calorie diet||71.43|
|Altered consistencies (liquidised) diet||74.93|
The heating supplement is an additional weekly payment to help with the cost of heating your home. You may get a heating supplement, if you:
The rate for a single person and lone parent is calculated as follows: The diet cost as set by the Department of Social Protection, less one-third of your social welfare payment at the 2007 rate = the diet supplement to be paid to you. You can check the rates for 2007 in SW19 (pdf).
The rate for a married or cohabiting couple is calculated as follows: The diet cost as set by the Department of Social Protection less one-sixth of your social welfare payment at the 2007 rate = the diet supplement to be paid to you.
If you are getting Rent Supplement or Mortgage Interest Supplement, the Supplementary Welfare Allowance personal rate for 2007, and qualified adult rate where applicable, is used to calculate the amount of diet supplement. In assessing your means, any increases in social welfare payments for children are not taken into account.
The diet supplement rates for a qualified child are as follows:
A child is considered to be a dependant if they are under 18, or are over 18 and under 22 and in full-time education.
There is no fixed rate for heating supplement. The amount of heating supplement you get is based on your need as assesed by your Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer).
To apply for a heating supplement, fill in a heating supplement form (pdf). The Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) can help you fill in the form.
The diet supplement was discontinued for new applicants from 1 February 2014.
To get a heating supplement, apply to the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) in your local 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.