There are new Rent Supplement rules for applicants who apply on or after 13 March 2020. These rules will be in place until 30 June 2021:
- You can qualify for Rent Supplement if you or your partner are working more than 30 hours per week and you have had a reduction in your income from work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- You must have been in your current tenancy for more than 4 weeks and could have continued to pay your rent from your own resources, but for the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19 and are medically required to self-isolate, your Rent Supplement can be processed and paid immediately.
If your Rent Supplement continues after 30 June 2021, it will be reviewed and the existing Rent Supplement rules, guidelines and means assessment will apply.
Rent Supplement ensures that your income, after paying rent, does not fall below a minimum level.
The basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) rate is normally €201 – you will get a higher rate if you have dependents. However, if you are a new Rent Supplement applicant and applied on or after 13 March 2020, you will be assessed for Rent Supplement using the following Supplementary Welfare Allowance rates:
€350 for a single person
€700 for a couple
€40 for each child.
You are only eligible for Rent Supplement if you are a genuine tenant and meet one of the following conditions:
- You were getting Rent Supplement in the 12 months before the date of your application.
- You were living in private rented accommodation for at least 6 months (183 days) of the last 12 months, you could afford the rent at the beginning of your tenancy and you are unable to continue to pay the rent because of a substantial change in your circumstances which occurred after you started renting. You can combine time living in more than one rented accommodation to satisfy the 6 months (183 days).
- Pass a habitual residence test
- Pass a means test
For applicants who apply on or after 13 March 2020, you must have been in your current tenancy for more than 4 weeks and could have continued to pay your rent from your own resources, but for the COVID-19 public health emergency.
You won’t qualify for Rent Supplement if you:
- You are getting a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).
- Sharing with your landlord
- Renting from a parent
- Have been excluded from social housing by a local authority for reasons of good estate management or anti-social behaviour.
- Are registered as a full-time student.
- In full-time employment – defined as 30 hours or more a week.
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