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.
About 410,000 people get this payment – so the total Winter Fuel allowance paid out nationally is around €230 Million a year.
The Fuel Allowance scheme operates for 28 weeks this year. (Increased in Budget 2019) This year it will run from the 1st October 2018 to Friday 12th April 2019 . Payments will begin in the first week of October and it will be paid on the same day as your usual pension or benefit.
If you apply for the Fuel Allowance after 1st October 2018 – it will not be backdated.
The Fuel Allowance payment is €22.50 a week – That is a total payment of €630 over the 28 weeks.
Since 2017 claimants have had the option of getting the Fuel Allowance paid in 2 lump sums instead of weekly. The first lump sum will be €292.50 and the second will be €315 . The first lump sum will be paid in the first week of October and the second in early January 2019 More details of how to apply for 2 lump sums here.
This winter fuel payment 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 electricty OR gas all year round. That works out at €420 a year per claimant . (A total of €177 million paid out a year)
Someone getting both the Fuel allowance and the household benefit package will receive €130 a month towards fuel costs during Oct to April.
Update – If you qualify for the Fuel Allowance and the Living Alone allowance you should also be getting the new Telephone Support Allowance from 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. You could easily save in the region of €300 to €400 in just one year . See our page on the Cheapest Switching Deals
* 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 2018/19 for a single person under 80 is €343.30
The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is under 66) is €505.40
The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is 66 or over) is €561.30
Only one payment is paid to a household if there is more than one person that qualifies.
Application forms are also available from local post offices. You can also request it by texting “FORM FUEL” followed by your name and address to 51909. (I.e you would text the following words : “FORM FUEL Mary Murphy, 1 New Street, Old Town, Co. Donegal “)
For more details you can contact : National Fuel Scheme , Social Welfare Services ,College Road , Sligo. Tel:(071) 915 7100 . See Here too
If you are on low income – you may also be eligible for financial help to get your home insulated or to upgrade your boiler. 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