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Rent Supplement

What is a Rent Supplement?

Rent Supplement is a means-tested welfare benefit in Ireland designed to provide financial support for individuals living in private rented housing who are unable to afford the cost of their accommodation from their own income.

In the past, you could apply for Rent Supplement if you were qualified for social housing support and were on the local authority’s housing list. People in this situation should now apply for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

How to qualify for Rent Supplement:

To qualify, a case officer must be satisfied that, at the time of application:

  • You are in a lawful tenancy, and
  • You had received a Rent Supplement payment within the past 12 months, or
  • You have been living in private rented housing for at least 183 days in the past 12 months and can demonstrate that you could afford the rent at the start of the lease but now cannot due to a change in circumstances.
  • Rent Supplement is also available to individuals who have been living in housing for homeless people or an institution for at least 183 days in the past 12 months and do not qualify for social housing support.

    If you need assistance with rent but do not meet these conditions, you should contact your local authority to assess your housing needs.

    Rates of Payment:

    The amount of Rent Supplement you receive depends on the amount of rent you pay and the amount of income you have.

    All individuals receiving Rent Supplement are expected to contribute towards their rental costs. The minimum expected contribution for a single person is €30 per week. For a couple, the expected minimum weekly contribution is €40.


    Rent Supplement payments are fully exempt from tax.

    How to Apply:

    To apply, fill in the application form for Rent Supplement (Supplementary Welfare Allowance) (SWA RS1)

    Part of the form will need to be filled in by your landlord or their agent. Your landlord will need to provide their tax reference number (normally their PPS number) to the department. If your landlord does not wish to fill in the Rent Supplement: Tax Reference Number (SWA 3C) form.

    If your landlord does not have a tax reference number, they should state this in writing and explain why this is the case. Your Rent Supplement may not be paid if your landlord has not given their tax number or has not explained why they do not have one.

    Another part of the form may need to be filled in by your local authority to confirm you are on their housing list and have a housing need.

    Rent Application packs are available in your local Intreo Centre. You can also request a pack by emailing CWSforms@welfare.ie.

    Documents you need to provide:

    You need to provide the following documents:

  • identity documents for you and your dependants, such as full birth certificates, passports, driving licence, work permit and Irish Residence Permit (IRP)
  • documents to show your income and financial situation, such as payslips and bank statements
  • documents to prove where you live, such as electricity, gas or phone bills
  • documents relating to your tenancy, such as your rent book, lease or tenancy agreement
  • Please return your completed application form and relevant supporting documents to:

    National Rent Supplement Section:

    Address: PO Box 12188,
    Freepost FDN760
    Dublin 2

    Email: rentsupplement@welfare.ie
    Phone number: 0818 607080

    Information on Rent Supplement for victims of domestic violence:

    A protocol to assist victims of domestic violence has been established between the Department of Social Protection and Tusla. Under this protocol, if you are a victim of domestic violence you will be able to apply for Rent Supplement on referral by Tusla or by Tusla-funded service providers.

    Where an application is made, Rent Supplement will be provided for an initial three months and will not require a means test. You will only be required to pay a minimum contribution towards your rent, regardless of your means, for this period.

    After the first three months have passed, you may be provided with a further three month extension of Rent Supplement; however, this will be subject to the usual means assessment and eligibility criteria of the Scheme.

    If you have a long term housing need beyond this six month period, you will need to apply to your local housing authority for social housing support as soon as possible. If eligible, you will be able to avail of a local authority sponsored housing solution, including Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP).

    Rent Supplement for persons covered by the EU Temporary Protection Directive:

  • The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) is responsible for meeting the immediate and short-term accommodation needs of persons availing of protection in Ireland under the EU Temporary Protection Directive.
  • Since February 2022, Rent Supplement is available on a flexible basis to support those availing of temporary protection in Ireland and who wish to access private rented accommodation.
  • Further details and assistance are available at your local Intreo Centre.