Rent Supplement

Rent Supplement is paid to people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources. In general, you will qualify for a rent supplement, if your only income is a social welfare or Health Services Executive (HSE) payment and you satisfy the other conditions.

Getting Rent Supplement

Rent Supplement will only be provided if the accommodation is suitable for your needs and the rent is below the maximum rent level set for your county.

You may get Rent Supplement if you have been living for 6 months (183 days) out of the last 12 months in one, or a combination, of the following:

  • Accommodation for homeless people
  • Private rented accommodation. You can combine time living in more than one rented accommodation to satisfy the 6 months (183 days). You must be able to show that you could afford the rent at the beginning of your tenancy and that you could have continued to pay rent but are unable to do so because of a change in your circumstances which occurred after you started renting.
  • An institution, for example, a hospital, care home or place of detention


Be assessed in the last 12 months by a local authority as being eligible for and in need of social housing. If you don’t have a housing need assessment, you must go to the local authority to have your housing need assessed. The local authority must be in the same area that you intend to live and claim Rent Supplement. Only when you are assessed as eligible for and in need of housing can you apply for Rent Supplement. Rent Supplement is not payable while the local authority is carrying out a housing needs assessment.

You must also:

  • Have proof of your residence in Ireland.
  • Pass a means test.

You won’t qualify for Rent Supplement if you:

  • Are in full-time employment. However, if you are assessed as in need of housing under the Rental Accommodation Scheme and have been out of full-time employment for 12 months or more you may be entitled to the Supplement -see ‘Employment and Rent Supplement’ below
  • Have refused a second offer of local authority accommodation in an 12-month period. In this case, you will not be eligible to claim Rent Supplement for 12 months
  • Are leaving local authority housing without reasonable cause
  • Are attending full-time education. However, if you are getting a Back to Education Allowance or participating in the Back to Education Programme you may be entitled to the Supplement.
  • Renting from a parent: You will not get Rent Supplement to help you pay rent to your parent if you are living in the family home. If your parent owns a second property, you will generally not get Rent Supplement to rent this property from them unless it is a bona fide tenancy and you are assessed as having a housing need. Your parent must also be able to prove that they have a history of renting this property.

Download the forms here: Rent Supplement Form

Supplementary Allowance Form

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website