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 operates for 28 weeks for the 2019/2020 period. This year it runs from the 30th September 2019 to Friday 10th April 2020.
Weekly Fuel Allowance Payments will begin 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.)
The Fuel Allowance payment is €22.50 a week – That is a total payment of €630 over the 28 weeks.
It will be 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 is due to be paid in the 2nd week of January 2020 and should be €343
If you apply for the Fuel Allowance after 1st October 2019 – it will not be backdated.
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)
Someone getting both the Fuel allowance and the household benefits package will receive €132.50 a month towards fuel costs from October to early April. (Total of approximately €840)
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 €400 in just one year. See our page on the Cheapest 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.
Paper 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 the 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. 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