top of page
Lawn Mower Man

The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) 

Louth Local Development implements The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) in Louth on behalf the Department of Social Protection.  The scheme aims: To provide income support for farmers or their family members who are currently in receipt of long term social welfare payments, and to provide rural communities with services that will enhance the social, physical, natural and cultural resources of their locality.​ The RSS allows low-income farmers who are unable to earn an adequate living from their farm holding, to earn a supplementary income through employment provided by local community development projects. The Scheme provides participants with farmer-friendly part-time work in their own locality at times that do not interfere with farm work.​ A farmer, their spouse/civil partner/ cohabitant/child or sibling can work 19.5 hours each week. If you are currently in receipt of specified social welfare payments, have a herd number and are actively farming you may be entitled to participate on the scheme and in return receive income support. The minimum weekly payment rate is €216.00.

woman planting flowers into a pot

Eligible Criteria for Participation on the RSS

Those in receipt of farm assist or have a valid herd (or flock) number and in receipt of one of the following social welfare payments: Unemployment Assistance Unemployment Benefit Disability Allowance ​ If you are eligible but do not wish to participate on the scheme yourself, your spouse, children/sibling may be eligible to take your place. The qualifying applicant must be: A member of a farm household.  Are resident and or working on the farm and  Are in receipt of one of the qualifying social welfare payments. Only one place can be allocated per herd/flock number. ​

Person mowing the grass

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 further terms following the initial contract (maximum 6), if you continue to meet the criteria for the Scheme. Louth Local Development has a few places available on the Rural Social Scheme in various locations in the county.  If you think you are eligible and would like to join the scheme contact Mavis Kelly on 041 6857374/5 or email

Foy Centre Green

RSS calling all Community and Voluntary Groups

If you are a Community or Voluntary Group interested in availing of the services of a Rural Social Scheme participant for 19.5 hours per week, then Louth Local Development would be delighted to hear from you.


The type of work carried out by RSS participants includes:

  • Village and countryside enhancement projects

  • Environmental maintenance work

  • Maintenance and care-taking of community and sporting facilities

  • Projects relating to not-for-profit cultural and heritage centres

For further information on the

Rural Social Scheme please contact

+353 87 0686238

bottom of page