Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Do you qualify for the Fuel Allowance?

Fuel Allowance Scheme

Photo: iStock

It’s the middle of September and there’s a bit of a chill in the air. Autumn (and winter) is on the way.

If you struggle to heat your home during the colder months of the year, and you’re in receipt of long-term welfare payments or cannot provide for your own heating costs, you may be eligible for the Fuel Allowance.

Operated under the National Fuel Scheme, the basic rate is €22.50 per week or €585 per year, paid with the social welfare payment. One fuel allowance is available per household.

The scheme usually runs for around 26 weeks – this time from October 2nd 2017 to March 31st 2018. From this autumn, those in receipt of the Fuel Allowance will have the option of receiving two lump sum payments of €292.50 each, payable in October and January.

Qualifying

According to the Department of Social Protection, there are several conditions that you need to meet before you may receive the allowance:

– Be in receipt of one of several ‘qualifying payments’ such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, One-Parent Family Payment, Farm Assist, Disability Allowance, or the State Pension.

– You must be living alone or with ‘a qualified spouse, civil partner, cohabitant or qualified child(ren)’, an individual receiving a payment that would make them eligible for the scheme, a carer receiving the Carer’s Allowance, or someone in receipt of short-term Jobseeker’s Allowance or Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

For the full list of requirements, see www.welfare.ie. If you’re eligible then apply immediately as successful but late applications won’t be backdated. In order to receive the first payment in October, you’ll need to submit your application by September 15th.

The application form is available online, through your local post office/Intreo Centre/Social Welfare Branch Office, or by texting FORM FUEL followed by your name and address to 51909.

If you don’t meet the qualifying conditions, there are other ways and schemes that might be of help in keeping your home warm or remaining on top of your energy bills.

Contains Irish Public Sector Data licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.

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When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.
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