Case Management Guidebook

Comprehensive guidance and support to professionals working in homeless and drug services

Key Goals

  1. Ensure the service user is aware of their entitlements and assist in these being accessed through the correct service.
  2. Ensure that the service user has support for any financial management issues.
  3. Ensure that misinformation regarding benefits is not preventing the service user from accessing work or training opportunities.


Poverty can affect all age groups. The definition of poverty and social exclusion which the Government first adopted in 1997 states that:

“People are living in poverty if their income and resources (material, cultural and social) are so inadequate as to preclude them from having a standard of living which is regarded as acceptable by Irish society generally. As a result of inadequate income and resources people may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities which are considered the norm for other people in society.”

This definition underpins the Government’s strategic response to tackling poverty set out in the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007–2016 (NAP Inclusion).

As the social welfare system has become more complex, it is important that individuals are empowered to access the full range of services to which they are entitled. This chapter provides a brief summary of the various sources of income that service users may be entitled to.

It is important to note that details of schemes are subject to change, and therefore the information set out here should not be used to make judgments concerning benefits. Up-to-date/comprehensive information is available from the Department of Social and Family Affairs website ; from local social welfare offices, and from the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed website: