Humanitarian Assistance Scheme

Introduction

When severe weather causes flooding on a widespread scale, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection may activate the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme. This income-tested scheme provides emergency financial assistance to households who are not able to meet costs for essential needs immediately following flooding. The scheme aims to provide financial support to people who have suffered damage to their home. It is designed to alleviate hardship rather than provide full compensation for damage.

Rules

What is covered by the scheme?

1. Emergency income support payments.

2. Damage to your home and its essential contents, such as:

  • Carpets
  • Flooring
  • Furniture
  • Household appliances and bedding.

3. Structural damage may also be considered.

What is not covered under the scheme?

  • Losses covered by an insurance policy
  • Loss of items deemed to be inessential or luxury items
  • Commercial and business losses
  • Loss or damage to private rented accommodation or local authority accommodation

Income test

The income test determines your household’s ability to meet the costs of restoring your home to a habitable condition. All household income will be considered.

Single people: If you have a gross household income of €30,000 or less you will get 100% of the amount allowable. For each whole €1,000 of household income above €30,000 you will be required to make a 1% contribution to the amount allowable.

For example, if you are single and have a gross household income of €35,000 you will get 95% of the amount allowable (€5,000 over the income limit of €30,000 = 5% personal contribution towards the loss).

Couples: If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting and have a combined, gross, household income of €50,000 or less you will get 100% of the amount allowable. For each whole €1,000 of household income above €50,000 you will be required to make a 1% contribution to the amount allowable.

For example, if you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting and have a combined, gross, household income of €65,000, you will get 85% of the amount allowable (€15,000 over the income limit of €50,000 = 15% personal contribution to the loss).

Children: The income limits are increased by €10,000 for each qualified child.

One-parent household: The income limits that apply to couples also apply to one-parent households - €50,000 plus €10,000 for each dependent child.

Non-dependent adult household members: For each non-dependent adult member of the household 20% of their gross income is added to the household income.

For example, a couple with a gross income of €45,000 with a non-dependent adult in the house with an income of €20,000 will receive 100% of the amount allowable as the household income is less than €50,000 (€45,000 + €4,000 [€20,000 x 20%] = €49,000).

People who opted not to insure: If you had no insurance and you do not have reasonable grounds for not having insurance, you will be expected to contribute the first €2,000 toward the amount allowable and your personal contribution will be 2% for each whole €1,000 above the appropriate income level for your household.

How much can be paid to individual applicants?

Levels of payment will depend on the relative severity of damage experienced and your ability to meet these costs.

Where the cost of structural repairs is estimated to be in excess of €5,000, the Department will get advice from a loss adjustor appointed by the Department.

In assessing cases for humanitarian assistance, account will be taken of Exceptional Needs Payments and Urgent Needs Payments already paid out.

How to apply

To apply for the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme you should complete the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme application form (pdf). This form is also available from your local office.

Where available you must include the following with your application:

  • Evidence of household income (pay slips etc)
  • Estimates for repairs or replacement
  • A copy of your insurance policy
  • Paid invoices/receipts
  • Any other information which may support your claim

Where to apply

To apply for Humanitarian Assistance contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local office.

Page edited: 11 September 2017