The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the start of the National Fuel Allowance Scheme for the 2023/24 Season.
Fuel Allowance, which is a means-assessed payment, will be paid for 28 weeks to some 404,000 households across the State.
The payment is made at the weekly rate of €33 or if preferred, by way of two instalment payments of €462 each.
As part of Budget 2023, Minister Humphreys secured funding for the largest ever expansion of the Fuel Allowance scheme and introduced an entirely new means test for people over 70.
Under the new Means Test for Over 70s, a single person Over 70 can have income of €500 per week while a couple can have income of €1,000 per week. In addition, the amount of savings disregarded in the Over 70s Mean Test has been increased from €20,000 to €50,000.
In the case of a couple where one person is under 70 and one person is over 70, they will be assessed under the Over 70s Means Test criteria.
The weekly means threshold for those aged under 70 has also been increased by €80 per week, from €120 to €200 above the weekly rate of State Pension Contributory.
Announcing the launch of the Fuel Season, Minister Humphreys said, “the Fuel Allowance plays a vital role in supporting hundreds of thousands of families with their heating costs over the winter months. As a result of changes that I introduced in last year’s Budget, more households will receive the support this year than ever before. Payments will commence this week to some 404,000 households across the State.”
“I was delighted in Budget 2023 to broaden the eligibility of the scheme so that even more older people can qualify for the payment. I also introduced a new Over 70s Means Test for Fuel Allowance. Under this, a single person can have income of €500 per week and a couple can have income of €1,000 per week and still qualify for Fuel Allowance. We have also increased the weekly means threshold for those aged under 70 by €80 per week. These changes represent the largest ever expansion of the Scheme and I would encourage people to check their eligibility to the payment.”