The Fuel Allowance is a payment to help with the cost of heating homes. It is paid to people who are dependant on long-term social welfare or HSE payments and who may have problems paying for their heating needs.
The Fuel Allowance scheme would normally operate for 28 weeks for the 2019/2020 period. This year it was due to run from the 30th September 2019 to Friday 10th April 2020.
Extension of Fuel Allowance Due to Covid-19
It was announced on March 31st that the fuel allowance would be extended by 4 weeks to the second week of May. This will mean an extra €98 . Everyone should have received the extra €98 by May 8th .
- For People Who Get Fuel Allowance as 2 Lump Sums
- You should get €98 lump sum to cover the extra 4 weeks in your next benefit or pension payment due from April 13th onwards.
- For People Who Get Fuel Allowance Weekly
- All other people on weekly fuel allowance will get the extra 4 weeks fuel allowance in their next 2 payments from April 13th onwards. So everyone should have had their full fuel allowance by Friday 8th May .
Summary of Fuel Allowance
Weekly Fuel Allowance Payments began in the first week of October and they will be paid on the same day as your usual pension or benefit. (Unless you have opted for lump-sum payments.)
If you apply for the Fuel Allowance after 1st October 2019 – it will not be backdated.
The Fuel Allowance payment in 2019 was €22.50 a week –
It was increased to €24.50 a week from January 1st 2020 as announced in Budget 2020
Since 2017 claimants have the option of getting the Fuel Allowance paid in 2 lump sums instead of weekly payments. The first lump sum will be €315 and will be paid in the first week of October 2019. The second was paid in the 2nd week of January 2020 and was €343.
The Winter Fuel Allowance cost the State around €230 Million in 2018. It is paid to approximately 364,000 households.
The winter fuel allowance is on top of any payment from the “Household Benefit Package” .
Under the Household Benefit scheme – about 400,00 people also get €35 a month towards electricity OR gas all year round. That works out at €420 a year per claimant. (A total of €168 million paid out a year)
Typical average household Electricity bills are currently €1035 a year – based on Electric Ireland’s standard rates.
If you qualify for the Fuel Allowance and the Living Alone allowance you should also be getting the new Telephone Support Allowance since June 2018 (€2.50 a week)
Tip: Another way to cut energy bills is to take advantage of the discounts and cashback offers that most energy suppliers are offering to people who switch. An average usage household could easily save in the region of €300 in just one year. See our page on the Cheapest Electricity Switching Deals
Who Qualifies for the Fuel Allowance?
* Invalidity Pension * Pre-Retirement Pension * Disability Allowance
* Incapacity Supplement Widow’s or Widower’s (Contributory) Pension
# Widow’s (Non-Contributory) Pension
# Deserted Wife’s Benefit or Allowance
# State Pension (Contributory or Non-Contributory)
# State Pension (Transition)
# Blind Pension
# Prisoners Wife’s Allowance
# One-Parent Family Payment
You will not qualify for a Fuel Allowance if:
You live with someone who is not getting one of the qualifying payments for the Winter Fuel Allowance. Or
You are on a contributory payment and have weekly income above the means test limits (see below) : –
The assessable income limit in 209/20 for a single person under 80 is €348.30
The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is under 66) is €513.70
The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is 66 or over) is €570.80
Only one payment is paid to a household if there is more than one person that qualifies.
For more details, you can contact the National Fuel Scheme, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo. Tel:(071) 915 7100 . See Here too
Paper application forms are also available from local post offices.
Exceptional Needs : Under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) scheme, a Heating Supplement may be paid to assist people in certain circumstances that have special heating needs.
If a recipient of a social welfare payment has exceptional heating costs due to ill health, infirmity or a medical condition which he/she is unable to meet out of household income, that person may apply for a Heating Supplement. Decisions on applications for a Fuel Supplement are determined by local Community Welfare Service staff.
If you are on low income – you may also be eligible for financial help to get your home insulated. See these articles for more details.
One sure way to cut your energy bills is to take advantage of the special discounts and cashback offers that most energy suppliers are offering to switchers. See our page on the Cheapest Switching Deals