How to claim the Fuel Allowance
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.
What is it?
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.
How much do you get?
Fuel Allowance payments will total €735 during 2020/21.
You’ll receive your allowance as either:
- a weekly payment of €24.50, rising to €28 per week in January 2021, or
- two lump sums of €343 in October and €392 in January
Apply in September to gain the full benefit because claims later in the season are not backdated.
When is the allowance paid?
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 paid in the first week of October and the second week of January.
The Fuel Allowance 2020/21 starts on 28th September 2020 and will last for 28 weeks until 9th April 2021.
Who can get the Fuel Allowance?
Whether you’re eligible depends on three main factors:
- The social welfare payments you’re getting: You need to be claiming certain welfare payments to get the Fuel Allowance. For example, State pension, Disability Allowance, One parent family payment or Farm Assist. You can check the Gov.ie site for the full list of qualifying allowances.
- Who you live with: For example, a spouse, dependent children and other people who qualify for the allowance are all permitted. If you live with someone who can afford to pay for your energy bills you may not be able to claim. Here’s the full list of approved living arrangements.
- Affordability: You can only claim if you’re unable to meet the cost of your energy bills on your own. If you have significant savings for example you may not qualify for the Fuel Allowance.
How do you check eligibility?
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.
What if more than one person in your household qualifies?
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.
How to claim
If you haven’t claimed for the Fuel Allowance before, you can either:
- Complete an application form on the Gov.ie site.
- Collect an application form (NFS 1) from your local post office.
- Request a form by texting FORM FUEL followed by your name and address to 51909.
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.
How to change to weekly payments or lump sums
To change the frequency of your Fuel Allowance payments to weekly or lump sums you can either:
- Complete a FA CPF 1 form online.
- Collect a form from your local post office, Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch.
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.
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