Department of Social Protection

The Department of Social Protection (DSP) is tasked with administering the welfare system. It oversees the provision of income support and other social services.

The range of income support payments administered by the DSP includes Jobseeker payments, One Parent Family payments, the Farm Assist scheme, Supplementary Welfare Allowance, along with Rent Supplement and Exceptional Needs Payments.

The DSP also provides advice on education, training and personal development opportunities, job search assistance, information on and access to the Department’s range of income supports.

At local level, the Intreo Centres provide a single point of contact for all employment and income supports. Designed to provide a more streamlined approach, Intreo offers practical, tailored employment services and supports for jobseekers and employers alike

DSP Employment Support Schemes include:

  • JobsPlus Training Support Grant
  • Training Support Grant
  • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (Self-Employed)
  • Enterprise Support Grant
  • Short Term Enterprise Allowance (Self-Employed)
  • Part-time Job Incentive
  • Community Employment Scheme (C.E. Scheme)
  • Tús programme
  • Rural Social Scheme
  • Wage Subsidy Scheme
  • The Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP): WPEP is a 6-month, 30 hour per week voluntary work experience programme. It is for jobseekers, aged between 18 and 65 years, who are currently getting a qualifying social welfare payment (e.g., Jobseeker’s Allowance/ Benefit/ Transitional Payment, One-Parent Family payment, etc.) and who have been unemployed for six months (156 days) or more. The WPEP allows people to re-train and gain experience in another kind of work.
  • The Activation and Family Support Scheme funds the cost of training supports and education courses for people on social welfare. It focuses on long-term job seekers in receipt of a social welfare payment to assist their progression to the workforce.
  • Working Family Payment (formerly known as Family Income Supplement)

Covid Payment Supports:

  • The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment: This payment  is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on or after 13 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Enhanced Illness Benefit for Covid 19: The scheme is available to employees or self-employed people who are unable to work due to a diagnosis of Covid-19 on an instruction by a doctor or the HSE to self-isolate/restrict their movements

DSP provides a range of payments for people with a physical and/or mental health conditions:

  • Illness Benefit, a payment made to people under 66 years who are unable to work because of illness.
  • Invalidity Pension, a social insurance payment that may be paid to people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability.
  • Disability Allowance, a means-tested payment for someone with a disease or physical and mental disability of at least one year’s duration.
  • Blind Pension, a means tested payment paid to blind and visually impaired people normally living in Ireland.
  • Treatment Benefit Scheme, a scheme that provides dental, optical and aural services to people with the required number of PRSI contributions.
  • Occupational Injuries Scheme provides a range of benefits for people injured or incapacitated by an accident at work or while travelling directly to or from work
  • Injury Benefit is a weekly payment made to employees who are unfit for work as a result of an accident at work or because they have contracted a disease due to the type of work they do.
  • Disablement Benefit is a payment as a result of an accident at work or a prescribed disease contracted at work, where the person suffers a loss of a physical or mental faculty.
  • Medical Care Scheme provides a refund of medical costs in cases where an insured employee is injured at work or contracts a prescribed occupational disease
  • Domiciliary Care allowance is a monthly payment made to the carer of a child with a severe disability who lives at home.
  • Partial Capacity Benefit is a scheme to support people on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension who want to return to work

DSP also provides payment to carers under the following schemes:

  • Carer’s Allowance is a means-tested payment to people on low incomes who are caring for an incapacitated person
  • Half-rate Carer’s Allowance is payable with certain other social welfare payments under specific qualifying criteria.
  • Carer’s Benefit is a social insurance payment made to someone who gives up work to care for an incapacitated person
  • Carer’s Support Grant is an annual cash payment to carers.
  • A Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment made to the carer of a child with a severe disability who lives at home

DSP programmes to support people with disabilities in the work place include:

  • Wage subsidy scheme
  • Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant
  • Interpreter Grant for people with a speech impediment
  • Personal Reader Grant for people with visual impairment
  • Disability Awareness Support Scheme for employers who want to promote integration in the workplace.
  • Employee Retention Grant for the retention of employees who develop disability while employed.

Target Group: Persons who are in need of some kind of income support due to personal circumstances

How to access: Contact local Social Welfare Branch Office/ Intreo Centre.

Contact details:

Social Welfare Branch Offices (SWO):

  • Cahir SWO, The Square, Cahir. Co. Tipperary
    Tel. (052) 7445200
    Hours of Business: Monday –Friday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

  • Nenagh SWO, Church View, Nenagh. Co. Tipperary
    Tel. (067) 50902
    Hours of Business: Monday & Tuesday, 9.15 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.30 p.m.
    Wednesday & Thursday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.30 pm
    Friday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

  • Carrick-on-Siúir SWO, 55 New Street, Knocknaconnery, Carrick-on-Siúir. Co. Tipperary
    Tel. (051) 601190
    Hours of Business: Monday – Thursday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.30 p.m; Friday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

  • Cashel SWO, Bohermore, Ladyswell, Cashel. Co. Tipperary
    Tel. (062) 64220
    Hours of Business: Monday – Friday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

  • Tipperary SWO, 8 Church Street, Town Lot, Tipperary town.
    Tel. (062) 80230
    Hours of Business: Monday – Thursday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.30 p.m; Friday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

  • Roscrea SWO, Limerick Street, Townparks, Roscrea. Co. Tipperary
    Tel. (0505) 22840
    Hours of Business: Monday – Friday, 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.; 2.00 – 4.30 p.m.

Intreo Centres:

  • Clonmel Centre, Harbour House, New Quay, Clonmel. Co. Tipperary
    Tel. (052) 6191800
    Hours of Business: Monday – Wednesday, 9.15 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.;
    Thursday, 9.15 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.; Friday, 9.15 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.

  • Thurles Centre, Tipperary Technology Park, Racecourse Road, Thurles. Co. Tipperary
    Tel. (0504) 67100
    Hours of Business: Monday – Wednesday, 9.15 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.;
    Thursday, 9.15 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.; Friday, 9.15 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.