Rural Social Scheme (RSS)
The aims of the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) are to provide income support for farmers and fishermen who are currently in receipt of long term Social Welfare payments including Farm Assist, and to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities.
This scheme allows low-income farmers and fishermen who are unable to earn an adequate living from their farm holding/fishing, to earn a supplementary income.
The intention of the Scheme is that the projects carried out are beneficial to the local community and that participants have the opportunity to improve existing or develop new skills.
Who is it suitable for?
Farmers and fishermen who are currently in receipt of long term Social Welfare payments including Farm Assist.
What is the programme content?
Rural Social Scheme in Offaly
The scheme is operating at its full potential in Offaly with over 60 participants placed in various locations across the county.
The type of work carried out by RSS participants includes:
RSS has a 12 month placement contract.
Child / Sibling of Farmer (Herd Number Owner)
Spouse / Civil Partner / Cohabitant of Farmer (Herd Number Owner)
Spouse, civil partner or cohabitant:
can take the available place
is getting one of the qualifying social welfare payments they can use the Herd Number to qualify for the scheme
If the spouse / civil partner / cohabitant is under 66 and the farmer is getting a State Pension (Non-Contributory) which includes an Increase for Qualified Adult for him /her
Please note that each herd number may only be used once.
When does the next programme commence?
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) Local office will select the persons (at random) who meet the criteria for referral to OLDC for inclusion on a panel from which recruitment will be made. A new intake on 01 April each year.
What days will the programme take place?
Monday - Saturday. Participants may be able to work their hours in a flexible way
How will the programme be delivered?
Work Placement with various sponsor groups
Working Hours: This is 19.5 hours per week. Participants may be able to work their hours in a flexible way.
RSS payment while participating: The rates of payment for new participants depend on the qualifying DEASP payment. The minimum weekly payment effective from March 2019 is €225.50.
RSS Secondary Benefits: You may keep any secondary benefits you had before you took up the scheme such as fuel allowance & medical card, subject to income levels.
What support to you offer to participants?
All supports within OLDC available to RSS participants
Is the programme certified?
Is there a fee to take part?
Community & Voluntary Groups
Does your organisation have projects which require a labour input? The Rural Social Scheme (or Tús Scheme) may be able to help. An application form for community groups to avail of the scheme can be downloaded (see below).
If you are a member of a community group or a farmer interested in the scheme please contact us:
George Digan - Phone 087 9948 132 Email: email@example.com
John Moran - Phone:087 9013 759 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Offaly Local Development Company
This is a Department of Social Protection service, fully funded by the Department, and delivered under contract in Offaly by OLDC for and on behalf of the Department.