About 400,000 people in Ireland are in receipt of the household benefits package. Pensioners, people with disabilities and carers can claim the allowances.
It is worth €580 a year to each claimant and costs the state about €200 million a year.
Who Can Claim Household Benefits?
Anyone aged over 70 will qualify for the Household Benefits Package. It is also possible for other people to qualify – see the list of conditions below.
- aged over 70
- aged between 66 and 70 and are getting a state pension.
- aged between 66 and 70 and are not getting a state pension but satisfy a means test.
- aged under 70 and getting an equivalent Social Security Pension/Benefit from another country.
- aged under 66 and are getting, Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension, Blind Persons Pension or Incapacity Supplement with Disablement Benefit.
- aged over 60 and receiving a Garda Widows Pension.
- widowed or a surviving civil partner aged between 60 and 65 and your late spouse or civil partner was getting Household Benefits.
- receiving Carers Allowance for a person you live with and are caring for.
see the full rules here.
What are the Financial Benefits?
As part of the Household Benefits package – eligible people receive an Electricity Allowance of €35 a month. (€420 a year) Only customers of Electric Ireland have the free allowance taken off their bill. Customers of other electricity suppliers get a monthly payment of €35 into their bank account or Post Office on the 1st Tuesday of each month.
This bias towards Electric Ireland customers was challenged by the other energy suppliers – so it might not continue in the future.
Claimants of the Household Benefits package can choose to have a Gas Allowance instead of Electricity. The gas allowance is also €35 a month. (€420 a year) . The allowance can be paid into a bank account or collected in person at a Post Office.
Free TV Licence :
If you qualify for the Household Benefits Package, you also become eligible for a Free Television Licence from the next renewal date . You must select the Television Licence option on the form when you apply for the Household Benefits package. The normal cost of a TV licence is €160 a year.
How to Apply
It is possible to apply for the Household Benefits Package online at Welfare.ie
Many people can also qualify for help with fuel costs in the form of the Winter Fuel Allowance
If you want an easy way to cut your fuel bills – see our page about switching energy supplier. You could also save a couple of hundred euro in 12 months.