HUNDREDS of exceptional and urgent supplementary social welfare payments have been made to Carlow people so far this year.
A total of 424 exceptional needs payments (ENP) and urgent needs payments (UNP) have been made locally up to the end of May this year.
These supports are issued for various issues and include, among others, increases in fuel electricity costs, essential repairs to property, funeral costs, rental deposits, costs associated with emergency events and recurring travel costs to hospitals.
The 2022 figure for Carlow is on track to surpass recent years. A total of 682 payments were made in 2021 and 754 in 2020.
An ENP is a single payment to meet essential one-off expenditure that a person is unable to meet out of weekly income. A UNP is made to a person who may not normally qualify for supplementary welfare but has an urgent need which they cannot meet. Payments are made at the discretion of social welfare officers.
The figures were recently disclosed in the Dáil, and nationally, over 90% of applications for this supplementary welfare are granted.
Minister Heather Humphreys said the support was available to anybody on low income who is “experiencing financial hardship regardless of the number of hours they work per week”.
Anyone who needs support should contact the department either through their local Intreo or branch office or by phoning 0818 607080. Further details on the Additional Needs Payment can be found on gov.ie.