Start of new fuel allowance season - explainer on how to get help

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Kildare Now reporter

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The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s Fuel Allowance 2019/2020 season began on Monday 30 September.


 
The Department says the weekly rate of the Fuel Allowance will be €22.50 while the value of the lump-sum payment that will be paid to the householders who have opted for this payment is €315 (which will be paid next week also).

In excess of 370,000 households are expected to benefit from the Fuel Allowance payment with some 60,000 of these receiving their allowance via a lump sum. The estimated expenditure for the 2019/2020 fuel season is approximately €240 million.

This non-statutory Fuel Allowance scheme helps householders on long-term social welfare payments to cover additional heating expenses in the winter. People who qualified for the Fuel Allowance payment last year will automatically be included again this year, if they still fulfil the eligibility requirements.

People who have not previously received the payment can apply by contacting their local Intreo Centre or from the office which handles their scheme payment at 01 7043000.

The Fuel Allowance of €22.50 per week represents a contribution towards a household’s normal heating expenses.  One Allowance is paid per household; it is not intended to meet the entire cost, but to provide assistance. 

As an alternative to a weekly payment, householders also have the option of receiving their Fuel Allowance in two lump sum payments, the value of each being €315.  Householders who have already chosen this option will receive their first lump sum along with their primary social welfare payment on their appropriate payment day this week. The second lump sum payment will issue during the second week of January 2020.

A person who is receiving a Natural Gas or Electricity Allowance under the Department of Social Protection’s Household Benefits Package, and who uses gas or electricity for their heating, may be entitled to the Fuel Allowance.


A person may qualify for Fuel Allowance if they are getting one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection:

State Pension (Contributory) or State Pension (Non- Contributory),
Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) or (Non-Contributory) Pension,
Incapacity Supplement,
Blind Pension,
Invalidity Pension,
Disability Allowance,
Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance,
One-Parent Family Payment,
Guardian's Payment (Contributory),
Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory),
Farm Assist,
Long-term Jobseeker's Allowance,
Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance,


A person may be entitled to the Fuel Allowance if they are getting one of the following payments from the Health Service Executive:

Disabled Person's Rehabilitation Allowance,
Infectious Diseases Maintenance Allowance,
a social security payment from another country,
a special Department of Defence Allowance,

or


If they are taking part in an employment or educational scheme and they are entitled to keep their secondary benefits,
and they are normally living in the State,
are living alone or only with:
a qualified spouse, civil partner, cohabitant or qualified children*,
other people getting one of the payments listed on page 3 who would also qualify for Fuel Allowance in their own right,
a person who is providing full-time care and attention if the applicant has a disability or long-term illness,
a person getting short-term Jobseeker’s Allowance,
and
the applicant and other members of their household are unable to pay for the heating needs from their own resources. To meet this condition, the household must satisfy a means test.

A qualified child is under age 18 or aged 18 to 22 if in full-time education. If a child turns 18 while in full-time education and the applicant for the Fuel Allowance is getting Jobseeker’s Allowance (for less than 15 months), Jobseeker’s Benefit, Illness Benefit or Supplementary Welfare Allowance, they will remain a qualified child only until they finish full-time education or until the following 30 June, whichever is earlier.

Full information is available on the Department of Social Protection Website here