Fuel Allowance

Information

A Fuel Allowance is a payment under the National Fuel Scheme to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months. It is paid to people who are dependent on long-term social welfare and who are unable to provide for their own heating needs. Only one Fuel Allowance is paid to a household.

The Fuel Allowance season will start on Monday 6 October 2014. (Fuel Allowance is paid with your social welfare payment on the day that you are usually paid).

The Department of Social Protection has published information on what to do if you are in financial difficulty with your energy bills.

Some UK pensioners living in Ireland may be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment from the UK. You can find out more from gov.uk.

Rules

You may qualify for a Fuel Allowance if you are getting:

And

You live alone or only with:

  • A dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and/or dependent children
  • Other people getting one of the qualifying payments who would also be eligible for a Fuel Allowance in their own right
  • A person who is getting Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit and is caring for you or for your dependent spouse, partner or cohabitant
  • A person getting short-term Jobseeker's Allowance or basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance

And

You and other members of your household are unable to provide for your heating needs from your own resources.

You will not qualify for a Fuel Allowance if:

  • Your heating needs are met under a deed transferring property
  • You live with someone who is not getting one of the qualifying payments for the Fuel Allowance
  • You are on a contributory payment and have income above the means test limits (see below)

Means test for Fuel Allowance

Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment. If you are getting a non-contributory payment you are accepted as satisfying the means-test unless you are also getting a half-rate contributory payment (such as Illness Benefit, Jobseeker's Benefit or Injury Benefit) in addition to the non‑contributory payment (such as One-Parent Family Payment).

The Fuel Allowance means test is linked to the maximum rate of the State Pension (Contributory).

You can have a combined weekly income of €100 above the maximum State Pension (Contributory) for your situation and still be eligible for a Fuel Allowance. This means that you can have capital/savings, providing they are less than €58,000, and be eligible for a Fuel Allowance. (€58,000 is equivalent to just over €100 a week under the capital means assessment rules.)

For example:

  • The assessable income limit for a single person under 80 is €330.30 (€100 plus €230.30);
  • The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is under 66) is €483.80 (€100 plus €230.30 plus €153.50)
  • The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is 66 or over) is €536.60 (€100 plus €230.30 plus €206.30)

If you are over 80, add an extra €10 to the appropriate DSP payment rate.

Getting a pension or benefit from another country

If you are getting a pension/benefit or equivalent payment from a country covered by EU Regulations or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement (provided there is an equivalent Irish payment), you may qualify for a fuel allowance provided you satisfy the qualifying conditions mentioned above and you are:

  • Resident in Ireland

And

  • Aged 66 or over

Or

  • Under 66 and getting an Invalidity Pension/benefit (for over 12 months), a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension or an equivalent payment from another country.

Where more than one person in a household qualifies

Only one Fuel Allowance payment will be paid to a household. If two or more people who each qualify for a Fuel Allowance are living in the same household, a single Fuel Allowance is paid to one qualified person in that household. The table shows who should apply for a Fuel Allowance in the case of two or more qualifying individuals living in the same house.

Payment Person who should apply for the fuel allowance
Social welfare pension and long-term Jobseeker's Allowance Social welfare pensioner
Pre-Retirement Allowance and social welfare pension Social welfare pensioner
Pre-Retirement Allowance and long-term Jobseeker's Allowance Person receiving Pre-Retirement Allowance
Social welfare pension and social security payment from another country Social welfare pensioner
Social security payment from another country and Long-term Jobseeker's Allowance Social security pensioner

Rates

The Fuel Allowance is €20 per week.

How to apply

To apply for Fuel Allowance, fill in application form NFS 1 (pdf). This application form is also available from your local post office.

If you apply for the Fuel Allowance after the start of the heating season (in October), the allowance will not be backdated.

If you are getting a payment from the Department of Social Protection or a social security payment from a country covered by EC Regulations or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement, the Fuel Allowance will be included in your weekly payment. You do not need to reapply for the Fuel Allowance each year as long as, your circumstances remain the same and you continue to get the same social welfare payment.

If you are not getting a social welfare payment, your Fuel Allowance can be paid directly into your account in a financial institution or you can collect the allowance at your local post office using your social services card.

Where to apply

Complete and return the form to the section that pays your payment, as set out below.

If you are getting one of the following payments:

  • Invalidity Pension
  • Disability Allowance
  • Incapacity Supplement

Send your application to:

Department of Social Protection

Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Ireland

Tel:(043) 334 0000
Locall:1890 927 770
Homepage: http://www.welfare.ie

If you are getting one of the following payments:

  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance
  • State Pension (Contributory or Non-Contributory)
  • State Pension (Transition)
  • Blind Pension
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
  • Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)

Send your application form to:

Department of Social Protection

Social Welfare Services
College Road
Sligo
Ireland

Opening Hours:This office does not offer a service to personal callers. All queries must be made using the online enquiry form, by telephone or in writing.
Tel:(071) 915 7100
Locall:1890 500 000
Homepage: http://www.welfare.ie/


Long term Jobseeker's Allowance, Farm Assist or One-Parent Family Payment:

If you are getting Farm Assist, long-term Jobseeker's Allowance (15 months) or One-Parent Family Payment , you should send your completed form to your social welfare local office.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance:

Only long-term Supplementary Welfare Allowance recipients (15 months) are eligible for Fuel Allowance. If you are getting Supplementary Welfare Allowance, you should apply to the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local health centre.

Social Security Payment from a country covered by EU Regulations or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement:

If you are getting a Social Security Payment from a country covered by EU Regulations or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement (provided there is an equivalent Irish payment), you should apply to:

National Fuel Scheme

Social Welfare Services
College Road
Sligo
Ireland

Tel:(071) 915 7100
Locall:1890 500 000
Homepage: http://www.welfare.ie

Page updated: 21 November 2014

Language

Gaeilge

Related Documents

  • Combining social insurance contributions from abroad
    Combining social insurance contributions paid in Ireland and abroad can help you qualify for a social welfare payment. Find out more.
  • Household Benefits Package
    The Household Benefits Package helps you with the costs of running your household. It includes electricity and gas allowances and a Free Television Licence. It is paid to people over 70 and to people under 70 in some circumstances.

Contact Us

If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.