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fuel allowance

Fuel Allowance Scheme being expanded to 80,000 further people

The Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months.

LAST UPDATE | 5 Dec 2022

AN EXPANSION OF the Fuel Allowance Scheme to 80,000 further people has been announced. 

The Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months.

It is paid to people to are receiving certain long-term social welfare payments.

Currently, over 370,000 households receive the Fuel Allowance payment.  

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys today announced the opening of a new online application for the Fuel Allowance scheme.

The new system will support the largest ever expansion of the Fuel Allowance Scheme which is expected to see over 80,000 additional households qualify for a payment for the first time.

As part of this expansion, a new means test for people aged over 70s for the Fuel Allowance is being introduced. Under this: 

  • A single person over 70 can have income of €500 per week and a couple can have income of €1,000 per week.
  • People over 70 will no longer need to be in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment to be eligible for Fuel Allowance.
  • In the case of a couple where one person is over 70 and one is under 70, they will be assessed under the Over 70s Means Test criteria.
  • In addition, the amount of savings that are disregarded in the means assessment for the Fuel Allowance payment for people aged over 70 is being more than doubled.  
  • Under this, the first €50,000 in savings and investments will now be completely disregarded in the means test.

The aim of the Fuel Allowance Shceme is to help qualified households in receipt of certain social welfare payments with their heating costs.

The allowance represents a contribution towards a person’s normal heating expenses and, according to the Department of Social Protection, it’s not intended to meet those costs in full.

The 2021-2022 Fuel Allowance season started on 27 September and will run until April 2022.

The Fuel Allowance rate was increased from €28 to €33 in October 2021 as part of Budget 2022. 

Today, Humphreys also announced the expansion of the standard under 70s Fuel Allowance Scheme:

From 2 January, the weekly means threshold for those aged under 70 will be increased by €80 per week, from €120 to €200 above the appropriate weekly rate of State Pension Contributory.

Payments from Disablement Benefit and Half Rate Carers payments will also no longer be included in the means assessment for Fuel Allowance for applicants who are both under and over 70 years.

The easiest and quickest way to apply for Fuel Allowance is via the new online application system at MyWelfare.ieThe new system is available for applications from today.

All changes take effect from 2 January 2023 but you can apply now in advance. 

The Department of Social Protection said it is expecting significant demand under the new Fuel Allowance measures and those who qualify will have their payments backdated, as appropriate, to 2 January.

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