The Fuel Allowance is a payment to help with the cost of heating homes. It is paid to people who are dependent on long-term social welfare or HSE payments.
Extra Fuel Allowance in 2022
Due to increasing energy costs – the government paid an extra €125 to all fuel allowance recipients in March 2022. A second extra payment of the fuel allowance of €100 was paid out in mid-May 2022. (Between the 16th and the 20th May) .
News: On September 27th , as part of Budget 2023 , it was announced that all fuel allowance claimants will get another one-off lump sum of €400 in November 2022. This payment is expected in the week beginning November 14th 2022
The Budget 2023 also announced a new disregard in the means test for Fuel Allowance for those aged over 70. It will be €500 a week for singles, and €1,000 per week for a couple .
That will mean that a couple could have a weekly income of up to €1000 a week and still get fuel allowance as long as they satisfy the other criteria. (See below)
More Help With Electricity Bills :
Because of increasing energy prices – the Government gave every household in Ireland €200 credit on their Electricity accounts between April and June 2022.
This one-off payment was nothing to do with the Fuel Allowance – it was not means-tested and was paid to every household with an electric meter.
More details here on the €200 Government Energy Payment 2022
Further Electricity credit payments were announced in Budget 2023. There will be a total of €600 in 3 payments of €200 each in November , January and March.
How Much is the Fuel Allowance?
The Fuel Allowance payment is currently €33 per week. It was increased in Budget 2022 from €28 a week with effect from October 13th 2021. (It was €28 a week for the first 2 weeks of October).
The Winter Fuel Allowance usually costs the State around €240 Million a year . It is paid to approximately 365,000 households.
Start and End Dates Of the Fuel Allowance 2022/2023
The Fuel Allowance scheme currently operates for 28 weeks .
- The next Fuel Allowance start date is Monday 26th September 2022
- The Fuel allowance end date in 2023 is expected to be Friday 7th April 2023.
Over the full 28 weeks – this will amount to a payment total of €924 . (2022/2023) .
If you apply for the Fuel Allowance after 26th September 2022 – it will not be backdated.
Fuel Allowance Payment Dates 2022 – 2023
The weekly Fuel Allowance Payments will start in the last week of September 2022 and they will paid on the same day as your usual weekly pension or benefit. (Unless you have opted for lump-sum payments.)
The final weekly fuel allowance payment is due to be made in the second week of April 2023.
Fuel allowance claimants can also receive the Fuel Allowance in 2 lump sums instead of weekly payments.
The first lump sum of €462 will be paid in the last week of September 2022.
The second lump sum of €462 (14 weeks at €33 per week) will be paid in the 1st week of January 2023
Tip: Another easy way to cut your energy bills is to take advantage of the discounts and cashback offers that the energy suppliers are offering to people who switch.
An average household could easily save in the region of €400 in just one year on electricity and gas
See our page on the Cheapest Dual Fuel Switching Deals
Also check out our Top Money Saving Tips
The winter fuel allowance is paid on top of any payment from the “Household Benefit Package” .
Under the Household Benefit scheme, about 400,00 people receive €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 €2177 a year – based on Electric Ireland’s standard rates.
If a person qualifies for both the Fuel Allowance and the Living Alone allowance then they should also get the Telephone Support Allowance of €2.50 a week.
Who Qualifies for the Fuel Allowance?
You do not need to reapply for the Fuel Allowance each year as long as, your circumstances remain the same and you continue to get the same social welfare payment(s).
If more than one person in a household qualifies for fuel allowance then only one payment can be made.
- 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
- Supplementary Welfare Allowance for more than 15 months (changing to 12 months in Sept 2022)
- Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than 15 months (changing to 12 months in Sept 2022)
- Jobseeker’s Transitional payment
- Back to Work Allowance, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA),
- Rural Social Scheme, Tús or Community Employment (and are entitled to keep your secondary benefits).
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 have weekly income above the means test limits (see below) : –
- An applicant and members of his/her household have a combined assessable income of more than €120.00 a week above the appropriate maximum State Pension (Contributory) rate. From Jan 2023 this is increasing to €200 above the maximum State Pension rate.
- The assessable income limit for a single person under 80 is €373.30
- The income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is under 66) is €542.70
- The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is 66 or over) is €600.30
- From Jan 2023 – The assessable income limit for a single person aged 70 or over will be €500
- From Jan 2023 – The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is 70 or over) will be €1000
Note- – Having an income below the means test limit will not qualify you for fuel allowance unless you also have one of the qualifying income types listed above.
Several types of income are not counted when working out “assessable income” – so it might be worth applying even if your total income is over the thresholds given above.
Paper application forms should also be available from local post offices.
For more details, you can contact the National Fuel Scheme, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo
Telephone : (071) 915 7100 . See Here too
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, they can apply for a Heating Supplement. You must be living alone or only with a dependent adult or dependent children and satisfy a means test.
Decisions on applications for a Heating Supplement are determined by local Community Welfare Service staff.
Grants for Insulation
Anyone on low income may also be eligible for financial help to get their home insulated. See these articles below 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 Dual Fuel Deals