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 payments and who are unable to provide for their own heating needs. Only one Fuel Allowance is paid to a household. Fuel Allowance is generally paid with your social welfare payment on the day that you are usually paid.
For the 2017-2018 Fuel Allowance season, you will have the option of getting your total allowance of €585 paid in 2 lump sums - see 'Rates' below.
The 2017-2018 Fuel Allowance season will begin on Monday 2 October 2017.
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.
Coping with cold weather can be difficult especially if you are older or have a disability or a long-term illness. The Keeping Well and Warm website gives information and advice about the supports available to help you and your household keep well and warm during the winter.
You may qualify for a Fuel Allowance if you are getting:
You live alone or only with:
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:
Carer's Allowance is not a qualifying payment for Fuel Allowance. However you may qualify for Fuel Allowance if you are getting half-rate Carer's Allowance and another qualifying social welfare payment:
Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment. If you are getting a non-contributory payment you are accepted as satisfying the means test. If you are on an employment support scheme or if you are getting a Back to Education Allowance you are entitled to keep your Fuel Allowance if you continue to satisfy the conditions – including the means test.
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.)
If you are over 80, add an extra €10 to the appropriate DSP payment rate.
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:
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|
The Fuel Allowance is €22.50 per week.
People getting certain social welfare payments can get their total Fuel Allowance of €585 paid in 2 lump sums. The first lump sum of €292.50 will be paid at the start of the fuel season in October and the second (also €292.50) in January - see 'How to change your payment option' below.
New applicants for Fuel Allowance need to fill in application form NFS 1 (pdf). This application form is also available from your local post office and can also be requested by texting FORM FUEL followed by your name and address to 51909.
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.
For the 2017-2018 Fuel Allowance season, you will have the option of getting your total allowance paid in 2 lump sums.
To get your Fuel Allowance in 2 lump sums you must fill in form FA CPF 1 (pdf). This form is also available from your local post office, Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You can also text FORM FUELCHANGE followed by your name and address to 51909. To get the first lump sum in October 2017, you must submit your completed form before 15 September 2017.
This option is not available to people getting payments under the Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway, Community Employment and Supplementary Welfare Allowance.
Complete and return the form to the section that pays your payment, as set out below.
Send your application to:
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
Tel:(043) 334 0000
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services
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.
||Send your completed form to your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.|
||Apply to the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local office.|
National Fuel Scheme
Social Welfare Services
Tel:(071) 915 7100
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.