The Fuel Allowance in Ireland 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.
How Much is the Fuel Allowance in Ireland?
The Fuel Allowance payment is currently €33 per week.
The Winter Fuel Allowance usually costs the State around €240 Million a year . It is paid to approximately 365,000 households.
Extra Fuel Allowance Lump Sums
An extra one-off lump sum of €300 was paid to all fuel allowance claimants in the week beginning Monday, November 20th 2023. As announced in Budget 2024 .
In March 2022 the government paid an extra €125 lump sum to all fuel allowance recipients
A second extra lump sum payment of the fuel allowance of €100 was paid out in mid-May 2022.
A third one-off lump sum of €400 in was paid in November 2022.
Help With Electricity Bills :
Because of increasing energy prices – the Government gave every household in Ireland €800 credit on their Electricity accounts between April 2022 and March 2023.
These payments had nothing to do with the Fuel Allowance – they were not means-tested and were paid to every household with an electric meter.
Further Electricity Credits Announced in Budget 2024
All domestic electricity customers will get €450 off their electricity bills. The credit will be paid in 3 instalments of €150. These payments will be made between the end of 2023 and April 2024.
More details here on the Government Energy Credits
Start and End Dates Of the Fuel Allowance 2023/24
The Fuel Allowance scheme currently operates for 28 weeks .
- The 2023/24 Fuel Allowance start date is Monday 25th September 2023
- The Fuel allowance end date in 2024 is Friday 5th April 2024.
Over the full 28 weeks – this will amount to a payment total of €924 . (2023/2024) .
If you apply for the Fuel Allowance after 25th September 2023 – it will not be backdated.
Fuel Allowance Payment Dates 2023/2024
The weekly Fuel Allowance Payments started in the last week of September 2023 and they are 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 2024.
Fuel allowance claimants can also receive the Fuel Allowance in 2 lump sums instead of weekly payments.
The first lump sum of €462 should have been paid in the last week of September 2023.
The second lump sum of €462 (14 weeks at €33 per week) will be paid in the 1st week of January 2024
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 €1909 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.
You will NOT qualify for a Fuel Allowance if:
- You have weekly assessable income above the age-related means test limits (see below) : –
You may qualify for the Fuel Allowance if you are over 70, OR are in receipt of ANY of these social welfare payments below.
- 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 12 months.
- Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than 12 months.
- 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).
Means Test for Fuel Allowance
The fuel allowance means test for over 70s was increased in January 2023
Increased Income Limits From January 2023
- From Jan 2023 – The assessable income limit for a single person under 70 is €453.30.
- The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is under 66 ) is €622.70.
- The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is 66 or over) is €680.30
- The assessable income limit for a single person aged 70 or over is €500
- The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is 70 or over) is €1000
In addition, since January 2023 – the amount of savings that are disregarded in the means assessment for the Fuel Allowance for people aged over 70 was more than doubled to €50,000. (It used to be €20,000)
Several types of income are not counted when working out the “assessable income” – so it might be worth applying even if your total income is over the thresholds given above.
Online applications can be made at MyWelfare.ie
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 who 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 that 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 a 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