If you get a social welfare allowance and struggle to pay your winter energy bills, you could be eligible for some extra help. Here’s how to claim the Fuel Allowance.
The Fuel Allowance helps people on social welfare with the cost of heating their homes during winter.
It’s usually paid weekly, but if you are on certain benefits you can claim it in two lump sums.
You can get the Fuel Allowance in addition to the Household Benefits Package.
Fuel Allowance payments have gone up by €5 this year and will be €33 per week for 2021-2022.
You’ll receive your allowance as either:
Apply in September to gain the full benefit because claims later in the season are not backdated.
The exact date changes each year, but it usually starts in early autumn and lasts until late spring.
Weekly payments will be on the same day you get your pension or social welfare payments.
If you opt for two lump sums, these are usually paid in the first week of October and the second week of January.
The Fuel Allowance 2021-22 started on 27th September 2021 and is expected to run for 28 weeks until April 2022.
Whether you’re eligible depends on three main factors:
There are lots of circumstances that may mean you’re not eligible for the fuel allowance, check here before you apply.
You must declare your income and savings as this may affect your entitlement to the allowance. Check the income limits and saving amounts.
Changes made in October 2021 mean that those on the basic supplementary welfare allowance will only have to wait 12 months before they qualify instead of the current 15 months. The income thresholds for pensioners will also increase, so more people can claim the fuel allowance.
Only one Fuel Allowance will be paid per household.
If two or more people qualify, you should check which one of you should apply for the allowance.
If you haven’t claimed for the Fuel Allowance before, you can either:
You must send the completed form to the correct address and this will depend on which qualifying allowance you receive. Check where to apply here.
You can nominate a bank or building society account for your Fuel Allowance to be paid into or choose to collect payments from the post office.
If you’re receiving a social welfare payment, the Fuel Allowance will be added to your usual weekly payment.
If you’ve been receiving the Fuel Allowance and your circumstances haven’t changed, you don’t need to reapply.
To change the frequency of your Fuel Allowance payments to weekly or lump sums you can either:
If you opt for lump sum payments after the first payment has been made, you’ll continue to get weekly payments until the next lump sum is due.
There are also bigger ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home e.g. solar power and insulation, and you may be eligible for a home energy grant from the SEAI to help fund the work.
Take a look at our Building Energy Rating (BER) guide which includes ways to boost your home’s energy rating and save money on your bills.
It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving