Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, has announced that the €125 once-off Fuel Allowance payments will be paid to 372,000 households this week.
The payment, on top of regular Fuel Allowance, was agreed as part of the government’s €505 million package aimed at mitigating the effects of rising energy costs.
Households will receive the payment in their bank account this week, depending on their particular social welfare scheme.
The Fuel Allowance, which is a means-tested payment, is paid to 372,000 pensioners, widows, widowers, jobseekers, lone-parents and people with disabilities.
Announcing the payment, Minister Humphreys said, “I’m acutely conscious that the rising cost of living is causing considerable concern for families. We have all felt it in recent months – through our bills, at the petrol station and in the supermarket. And unfortunately, the situation is not being helped by the horrific war unfolding in Ukraine.”
“This once-off payment is part of a wider package of measures, totalling €505 million, agreed by Government last month in order to make things a little easier for families. The package also included a €200 reduction in people’s energy bills, which is coming into effect this month, as well as changes I secured that will benefit people in receipt of the Working Family Payment. Government also responded last week by cutting excise duty on petrol and diesel, which has become the source of considerable concern for motorists in recent months.”
The Minister added, “the Fuel Allowance plays a vital role in assisting tens of thousands of households with their heating costs over the winter months. It acts as a financial aid for people living in low income households to help towards the cost of the likes of electricity and heating oil.”
“This €125 lump sum fuel allowance payment is aimed at the most vulnerable people in our society, to ensure that they are protected against rising fuel costs. This payment, in addition to the Budget increase to the Fuel Allowance I secured in October, will mean low-income households see an increase of 41% this Fuel Allowance season compared to the last season.”
The Fuel Allowance scheme is a means tested payment to assist pensioners and other long-term social welfare dependent householders with their winter heating costs.
The payment is made at the weekly rate of €33.00; or if preferred, by way of two lump sum payments; and is paid over the winter season. Only one Fuel Allowance is payable per household. Those who qualify for the payment do not need to reapply annually.
In Budget 2022, Minister Humphreys announced a number of reforms to the Fuel Allowance scheme including an increase in the weekly rate by €5 to €33, and a €20 increase in the weekly income means threshold from €100 to €120, with both measures implemented with effect from Budget day in October 2021.
The Minister also announced a reduction in the qualifying period for Jobseeker’s and Supplementary Welfare Allowance recipients from 15 to 12 months to take effect from September 2022. Through these additional measures it is estimated that some 400,000 households will benefit from the Fuel Allowance in 2022.