Rural Social Scheme (RSS)

Waterford Leader Partnership CLG implements the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) on behalf of the Department of Social Protection in County Waterford. The RSS is aimed at low-income farmers and fishermen/women. To qualify for the RSS you must be getting a social welfare payment. In return, people participating in the RSS provide services that benefit rural communities. Waterford Leader Partnership CLG has an allocation of 12 places countywide.

The Department of Social Protection has overall responsibility for policy in relation to the Rural Social Scheme, including eligibility criteria.

What type of work is carried out by people participating in the Scheme?

The type of work carried out by RSS participants includes:

  • Maintaining and enhancing various walking routes (that is, waymarked ways, agreed walks) and bog roads
  • Energy conservation work for older people and those at risk of poverty
  • Village and countryside enhancement projects
  • Social care and care of older people
  • Community care for pre-school and after-school groups
  • Environmental maintenance work - maintenance and caretaking of community and sporting facilities
  • Projects relating to not-for-profit cultural and heritage centres
  • Community administration or clerical work
  • Any other appropriate community-based project

How many hours' work is involved and how long does the Scheme last?

You work 19.5 hours per week. These hours are based on a farmer/fisher-friendly schedule. This is to ensure participation on the scheme does not affect a your farming/fishing activities. If you get a place on the Scheme, you are offered a contract from your start date up to the following 31 March. You may be considered for a further term following the initial contract, if you continue to meet all the criteria for the Scheme.

Waterford Leader Partnerhsip decides on your application. While it is not intended that anyone would remain on the scheme permanently, there is no definite time limit for participation.

If you are eligible for the Scheme but don’t wish to participate, your dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant may take the available place. However, this is only if neither of you are participating in any other similar scheme, (for example, the Community Employment Scheme.) The Rural Social Scheme operates independently of the Community Employment Scheme (CE).

For further information please visit the Dept of Social Protection

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