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?
It’s money to help heat your home over the winter.
You can get the Fuel Allowance in addition to the Household Benefits Package.
If you qualify, you can choose to receive the Fuel Allowance weekly or in two lump sum payments.
How much is it?
It’s €22.50 a week, increasing to €24.50 from 1st January 2020. If you opt for two lump sums instead, the first payment is €315 and the second is €343.
These weekly or lump sum payments total €658.
When is the allowance paid?
The exact date changes each year, but it usually starts in early autumn and lasts until late spring.
The 2019/20 Fuel Allowance started on 30th September 2019 and will last for 28 weeks until 10th April 2020.
Weekly payments will be on the same day you get your pension or benefit payments.
If you opt for two lump sum payments, these are paid in the first week of October and the second week of January.
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. These include: 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.
Why you may not be eligible
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 from your local post office.
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.
Apply now as payments won’t be backdated.
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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