What is DSWD AICS Program – Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations

The DSWD offers various services and assistance to the Filipino people. One of these is the DSWD AICS Program, which stands for Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS)

The DSWD AICS (Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations) Program is one of the Philippine government’s initiatives to provide immediate and temporary assistance to individuals and families who are affected by crises.

With the crisis brought about by the pandemic, the DSWD AICS Program aims to provide essential services and assistance to those affected. The program is also intended for individuals who are in need of financial assistance due to catastrophic events and calamities, such as floods, landslides, typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. The DSWD AICS Program provides limited financial assistance to qualified applicants.

What is the program’s goals and objectives? Who will benefit from this program? What is the DSWD AICS Program’s eligibility criteria? How can one apply for the DSWD AICS Program? Let’s find out more about the program to answer these questions and more.

DSWD AICS Program Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations

What is DSWD Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations?

As the leader in social protection, the DSWD is mandated to provide the best possible service to the citizens. It is also responsible for addressing the various needs of the poor and vulnerable sectors of society. This includes implementing programs and projects aimed at improving the quality of life for the people, such as the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), among others.

In 2014, the DSWD issued a memorandum circular aimed at improving the implementation of the Assistance to the Crisis Situations (AICS) program. This was followed by three other circulars in 2016. These documents provide guidelines on how to implement the program.

AICS is a stop-gap measure that provides financial, emotional, and psychosocial support to families and individuals who have experienced a crisis or unexpected life event. It can help them meet their basic needs in the form of food, transportation, medical, educational and burial assistance. 

In 2019, the DSWD issued an amendment to the memorandum circular about the implementation of AICS. This document provides updated guidelines on how to implement the program.

The DSWD continuously provides various social protection and welfare services to the people. These include the AICS program to help individuals and families who have experienced a crisis or unexpected life event. It also supports the government’s social amelioration efforts to help the people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Due to the declaration of a public health emergency in the Philippines, various community quarantine measures were implemented. This resulted in an increase in the number of people looking for assistance from the DSWD for various support services through cash aid. 

The agency is expected to enhance the implementation of the AICS program in response to the increasing number of people who require support after experiencing a crisis or unexpected life event. This will allow them to access government services that are designed to help them recover.

In line with the guidelines provided in the memorandum circular, the agency will also consider the implementation of a new normal set-up for the AICS program. This new approach will be based on the protocols of the IATF-EID.


The AICS can provide eligible individuals with the following monetary and material assistance:

Transportation Benefits

It is the assistance for the purchase or payment of transport (air/sea/land) tickets and/or expenses to enable the client/s to return to his/her/their home provinces permanently or seek further medical interventions in another place, or to attend to emergency concerns such as death, care, or other emergency or critical situations of family members, relatives, or other individuals in need. This includes those that require immediate presence, such as but not limited to attendance at a court hearing, the rescue of an abused relative, etc.

Note: The procured ticket shall be issued to the client unless in instances when giving outright cash is more convenient, as discussed in the section on Provision of Assistance under the Implementing Guidelines.

Medical Benefits

It is the assistance to help shoulder hospitalization expenses, cost of medicines, other medical treatment or procedures such as implants, laboratory procedures including but not limited to computerized tomography (CT) scan, electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram (2D Echo), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and provision of assistive device. Other medical expenses, such as professional fees, may be covered.

Note: Birthing is not covered unless the patient suffered complications during delivery, subject to the social worker’s assessment. The client shall not be entitled to in-patient financial assistance except when the drug or treatment is unavailable in the hospital or covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Burial Benefits

It is the assistance to defray funeral and related expenses, including but not limited to expenses in bringing the remains to the residence of the deceased and/or burial site in accordance with existing customary practices of the family, especially among Indigenous peoples and Moros. 

Note: Due to a disaster/calamity/critical events or circumstances similar to this where there are casualties in the family, the surviving family shall be given outright cash in the amount of P10,000 for each casualty without the need for a case study report.

Educational Benefits

A form of assistance given to eligible students to help defray school expenses and/or cost of sending students/children to schools, such as school fees, supplies, projects, allowance, and other related expenses, which will be provided once in a school/academic year for students, with priority to working students in public high school, vocational/ technological schools, state colleges, and universities. 

A maximum of three (3) children per family shall be entitled to this assistance. However, this may be given to a student who, although not indigent, is assessed by the social worker to have an extreme need based on his/her family’s current condition, including victims of displacement and repatriated/deported Overseas Filipinos (OFs), among others. 

Note: In no case shall this assistance be given to cover expenses for graduate and post-graduate studies.

Food Benefits

The provision of assistance to the client(s) in need would be provided up to a maximum of ten (10) days or an amount of at least P80.00 per meal per individual. It includes hot meals, food/meal allowance, or cash equivalent to the cost of the required hot meals and/or Food packs. 

Eligible client(s) shall include those caring for sick relatives or relative/s in the hospital, the grantee(s) of transportation assistance on his/her/their return to their home province or attendance to court hearings, People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) and their families, rescued trafficked individuals, former rebels, distressed OFs, stranded individuals due to emergency situations (such as but not limited to, human-induced and natural calamities) and alike.

This assistance comes in the form of:

  • Immediate provision of food packs; 
  • Cash equivalent to the cost of food packs; or 
  • Voucher with monetary value

Cash assistance for other support services for victims of natural or man-made crisis or calamity, victims of domestic abuse, locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and other incidents

It is assistance in the form of outright cash provided to individuals and families in extremely difficult circumstances in which the need does not fall on the assistance mentioned above, such as but not limited to, a child victim of online sexual exploitation and other sexual abuse cases, families of KIA/WIA uniformed personnel (police and soldiers), repatriated or deported OFs, Persons Living with HIV, rescued individuals/families against abuse, family and children of PWUD, survivor-victims of violence against women and children, rebel returnees, victims of fire, armed conflict and other incidents/occurrence putting those affected in a crisis situation, as may be justified by the social worker or through a case consultation/conference.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Qualifications per AICS Program

Walk-in clients and referred clients who are in crisis situations based on the assessment of a social worker can apply for these benefits:

1. Medical Assistance:

  • Hospitalization 
  • Cost of Medicines
  • Medical Treatment and Procedures 
  • Other Medical Expenses

2. Educational Assistance:

  • Tuition Fees Augmentation 
  • School Supplies
  • Transportation Expenses 
  • Other School Expenses

3. Burial Assistance

  • Tuition Fees Augmentation 
  • School Supplies
  • Transportation Expenses 
  • Other School Expenses

4. Transportation Assistance

  • Tuition Fees Augmentation 
  • School Supplies
  • Transportation Expenses 
  • Other School Expenses

5. Food and Non-food Assistance

  • Immediate provision of food packs
  • Cash equivalent to the cost of food packs 
  • Voucher with monetary value

6. Cash Assistance for Other Support Services 

  • The provision of outright cash is provided to individuals and families in extremely difficult circumstances.


1. For Medical Assistance:

  • Updated Clinical Abstract/Medical Certificate within three months with a signature above and license number of the doctor
  • An updated medical prescription with name, signature, and license number of the doctor
  • Laboratory Request/Medical Procedures/Treatment Protocol with name, signature and license number with date of the doctor; 
  • Quotation official price
  • Update hospital bill (showing outstanding balance, name and signature of the billing clerk)
  • Social Case Study Report if the medical assistance is PHP 5, 000 and above
  • Barangay Certificate/Certificate of Indigent Client (address should be the same with the submitted valid ID and
  • Valid ID of the client with the same address to the submitted Barangay Certificate of  Indigency with validation date

2. For Burial Assistance:

  • Funeral contract showing outstanding balance and breakdown of the service with name and signature of the funeral’s delegate
  • Original or Certified True Copy of  Registered Death Certificate with registry number
  • Barangay Certificate/Certificate of Indigency of the client; valid ID of the client showing the same address with the Barangay Indigency
  • Permit to transfer (where the remains need to be moved)
  • Social Case Study (can be requested)
  • Promissory Note (if needed)
  • Referral Letter (if needed)

3. For Transportation Assistance:

  • Valid ID showing the same address of the Barangay Certificate with validation date and
  • Barangay Certificate/Certificate of Indigency of the client

4. For Educational Assistance:

  • Registration Form, School Assessment Form, Certificate of Enrollment with name and signature of the registrar
  • Validated school ID of the student
  • Updated statement of account showing the outstanding balance, name and signature of the accounting staff
  • Barangay Certificate/Certificate of Indigency of the client’s guardian
  • Valid ID of the client showing the same address to the  Certificate of Enrollment
  • Social Case Study Report (can be requested)

How to Process DSWD AICS Benefits

If you are in need of assistance, the first step is to visit a DSWD Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) office or Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU).

Step 1: Visit the nearest DSWD office. Check if your local DSWD field office will require an appointment beforehand.

Step 2: Undergo a Screening from DSWD officers.

Step 3: Undergo an assessment based on your documents submitted.

Step 4: Releasing of cash assistance. Once you are qualified and your case is assessed, financial assistance will be provided to you.

Once you have been determined to be eligible, you will be given a list of the available benefits. You can then choose which benefits you would like to avail of. In most cases, you will be able to receive the benefits immediately. However, in some cases, you may need to wait for approval from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Regardless of the process, the SWAD or CIU staff will be with you every step of the way to ensure that you receive the assistance you need.

Infographics of the DSWD AICS Program

You may find in this link the infographics for the various AICS Program Benefits here – https://www.dswd.gov.ph/aics/

You can also check out more details about each program below:

DSWD AICS Program Accomplishments

For those of you who might be wondering about the scope and impact of the AICS Program on its target beneficiaries, here are some of its milestones:

The Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) has a physical target of 1,234,784 clients for the Calendar Year 2022. The accumulative data on clients served by the DSWD Central Office (CO) and the Field Offices (FOS) for the first quarter of the current year is 335,278 clients, which is 27.15% of the total target. 

While the program has served its purpose, there is still a long way to go in reaching its target of 1.2 million clients for 2022. And under the leadership of Senator Erwin Tulfo, we hope that the much-needed revamp and change in the department will finally be seen.  The DSWD is a vital government agency that assists the most vulnerable sector of our society. It helps people in need and gives them hope and strength to persevere through difficult times. And we hope that this will continue under Senator Tulfo’s leadership.

Video: Cash Aid via AICS Program by DSWD

The Philippine Social Welfare Department is set to open its offices for Filipinos who want to be included in the government’s cash aid scheme. This is good news for those who have been left out of the program due to some technical issues or because they were not able to apply in time.

Moreover, by doing so, the DSWD can accommodate more applicants, especially in areas where there are many Filipinos who need help. The agency said it could take up to two months to complete its list of beneficiaries. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about the AICS programs:

1. What is a referral to other services?

A referral to other services is a type of assistance that is not available at the SWAD or CIU satellite offices. It can be used to access various services such as legal advice, psychosocial support, and even temporary shelter.

2. What is AICS financial assistance?

The AICS provides various services, such as financial and material assistance. Financial assistance is usually provided in the form of cash or a guarantee letter. On the other hand, material assistance is usually provided for non-food items.

3. What is the psychosocial intervention?

A psychosocial intervention is a type of non-biomedical technique that aims to reduce the effects of a crisis on a person’s behavior. It can be used in combination with other interventions such as cognitive therapy.

4. What is medical assistance?

The provision of medical assistance is a vital part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It helps individuals and families shoulder the expenses associated with hospitalization and other related procedures. In response to the possibility of other diseases, this circular included various adjustments to the program’s provisions.

5. How is the eligibility of a client determined for DSWD programs?

The eligibility of the client to avail of the services shall be determined during the interview and scrutiny of the supporting documents presented. The social worker shall discern the capacity of the family to address the problem by looking keenly on the available resources that the family could access or utilize and the assessment of the social worker shall be the basis for the recommendation.

6. What is the role of the Department of Social Welfare and Development?

The DSWD is responsible for implementing social protection programs and activities aimed at improving people’s quality of life. It is also committed to addressing the needs of the poor and vulnerable sectors of society.


The DSWD AICS Program is an effective social protection program that aims to help the poor and vulnerable sectors of society. The program has been proven to be able to address the needs of families who require assistance. This is because it offers them a wide range of services, including financial assistance, medical care, and counseling.

And with the number of Filipinos in crisis situations during the pandemic, this program is more important than ever. It is a great way to ensure that people in need get the help they need during times of crisis. We hope you’ve gained some insight into how the DSWD AICS program works. We also hope you learned about the types of assistance it offers and the application process. 

Disclaimer: This post is only for informational purposes and should not be used as a direct guide to the program. As with any government-sponsored program, you must check on the official DSWD latest updates before applying for assistance.