Minister Humphreys confirms that Humanitarian Aid available to support those affected by severe flooding in County Meath
Wednesday, 09 August 2023
The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has confirmed that the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is available to support to those living in properties directly affected by the recent flooding in County Meath.
The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme prevents hardship by providing income-tested financial support to people whose homes are damaged from flooding and severe weather events and who are not in a position to meet costs for essential needs, household items and structural repair. A fund of €10 million is in place for this purpose.
The Minister acknowledged that while a small number of people had been affected, it was important that the support was made available to assist them.
Commenting today, Minister Humphreys said:
“The recent flooding has caused some damage and disruption to those living in parts of County Meath, including in the Bettystown area. My department is liaising on the ground with the people affected to make sure they have access to the help that they need.”
In dealing with emergency events the department generally adopts a three-stage approach as follows:
- Stage 1 provides emergency income support payments (food/clothing/personal items) in the immediate aftermath of the event
- Stage 2 involves the replacement of white goods, basic furniture items and other essential household items
- Stage 3 is to identify what longer term financial support is required, including plastering, dry-lining, relaying of floors, electrical re-wiring and painting
Levels of payment under the scheme depend on the relative severity of damage experienced and the household’s ability to meet these costs, ensuring that the funding is appropriately targeted.
The means assessment for Humanitarian Assistance is more generous than that applied under means tested Social Welfare payments in general. The basic principle of the income test is that individuals and families with average levels of income will qualify for assistance, including non-Social Welfare recipients.
The scheme does not cover risks that are covered by insurance policies or cover business or commercial losses.
If necessary, the Community Welfare Service can also provide support for other essential needs, for example, Additional Needs Payments may be made to assist with essential expenses that a person cannot pay from their weekly income.
The Community Welfare Service can be contacted using the national telephone line: 0818 60 70 80.
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