Almost as many applications for additional needs payments have been made so far this year in Kerry, than what was approved for the whole of last year.
These payments are made by the Department of Social Protection to help meet expenses that a person can’t pay from their weekly income.
The details were revealed in a written response from Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys to a question from Dublin Labour TD, Duncan Smith.
Payments are made at the discretion of officers administering the supplementary welfare allowance scheme.
Additional needs payments include exceptional and urgent needs payments.
An exceptional needs payment is a single payment to help meet essential, once-off expenditure, which a person couldn’t reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.
An urgent needs payment may be made to a person who may not normally qualify for supplementary welfare allowance, but who has an urgent need, which they can’t meet from their own resources.
So far this year, up to the end of May, there have been 1,337 applications for exceptional and urgent needs payments in Kerry.
That’s just 160 fewer than that total approved for Kerry last year, 1,497 cases.
Last year’s figure was a drop from 1,970 in 2020, and there had been a drop from 2019 also, when over 3,000 (3,040) cases were approved in Kerry.