Citizen’s Corner: How to claim the Fuel Allowance

Home comfort. Rocking chair near the fireplace. Photo of interior of room. Rocking chair in the living room with decorated modern fireplace
Photo: Dragana Gordic

Q. My family are struggling financially and I dread the thought of winter coming. I have heard people talking about fuel allowance. What is it and how do we qualify for it?

A. I think this one is on a lot of peoples mind at the moment. The Fuel Allowance is a payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months. It is a €33 per week payment (or lump sum) and the next payment period is September 25, 2023, to April 5, 2024.

In terms of qualifying, those over 70 don’t need to be in receipt of a social welfare payment, but must be legally a resident of the state, be living alone (or with other qualified people), and pass a means test.

Those already getting means-tested payments (Disability Allowance, Non-contributary State Pension, etc.) have already satisfied the rest, but must also meet all other conditions, such as those related to household composition.

Those under 70 can get the payment based on their social insurance regard. For example, those with a Contributary State Pension or Invalidity Pension need to pass a means test and meet other qualification conditions.

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You may also be entitled to the Fuel Allowance if you’re satisfying living conditions and getting one of the following payments: Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance; Disability Allowance; Jobseeker’s Allowance; One-Parent Family Payment; Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment; Invalidity Pension; State Pension (Contributory or Non-contributory); Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension (Contributory or Non-contributory); Deserted Wife’s Benefit or Allowance; Blind Pension; Death Benefit Pension under the Occupational Injuries Scheme; Farm Assist, Guardian’s Payment (Contributory or Non-contributory); Incapacity Supplement under the Disablement Pension Scheme; Revenue Job Assist; or Social Security Payment, of which there is an Irish equivalent payment, from a country covered by EU regulations or a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement.

Since January 2023, half-rate Carer’s Allowance and Disablement Benefit payments are not included in the Fuel Allowance means test. If you are living with a person who is 70 or over, it may be better for your household if they are the ones to apply for the Fuel Allowance.

It’s important that you apply for the allowance before late September. If you apply after this, your payment can not be backdated.

Applications can be made through your MyGov account, in paper form at INTREO, or through your local Citizens Information Office, who are always happy to help you complete the form.

Limerick Citizens Information Centre answer your questions in the Limerick Post. If you have a question relating to social welfare issues, tenant or consumer rights, immigration, money, tax, housing, or employment, email [email protected], call 0818 075 780, or drop in to Riverstone House, Henry Street, V93 T28.