Humanitarian funds to cover basics and flood-damaged appliances

Department of Social protection staff in affected areas to advise on potential aid

Residents  clean up following recent floods in the Lauriston estate, Midleton, Co Cork: Spokeswoman for the Government’s National Co-ordination Group  Fiona Ward said that, while some assistance was means tested, a couple with two children earning up to €70,000 could still qualify for aid. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Residents clean up following recent floods in the Lauriston estate, Midleton, Co Cork: Spokeswoman for the Government’s National Co-ordination Group Fiona Ward said that, while some assistance was means tested, a couple with two children earning up to €70,000 could still qualify for aid. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

 

The Department of Social Protection has said its “humanitarian relief” fund for flood victims will include help with buying toiletries, clothes and paying for emergency accommodation, as well as longer term repairs to homes.

Speaking at the Government’s National Co-ordination Group spokeswoman Fiona Ward said that, while some assistance was means tested, a couple with two children earning up to €70,000 could still qualify for aid.

Social welfare officers have been deployed in the areas affected and Ms Ward said those who are in need of help would find it available.

Ms Ward said staff were on hand to meet householders affected by the weather conditions in Clonmel on Saturday evening at 9pm to assess their needs.

Items being funded under the scheme were “for example” essential clothing, toiletries, fuel costs, B&B meals, dehumidifiers to dry out buildings, the hiring of pumps for private residents, and “on some occasions” portable toilets for people whose septic tanks had been flooded.

Fridges and washing machines

Longer term she said the department could offer support for decorating and repairs, such as rewiring.

The department is also assisting flood victims through emergency clinics to access supports from other agencies.

Ms Ward said humanitarian aid was means tested but was “much more generous” than other supplementary welfare allowances. “For example a couple with two children and a gross income of €70,000 a year would still qualify for a full payment and then it is tapered after that,” she said. “Obviously where people have insurance, we would expect that they would claim from that.”