Living Alone Increase
The Living Alone Increase is an extra payment for people on social welfare payments who are living alone.
It was announced in Budget 2021 that the Living Alone Increase will increase by €5 per week from €14 to €19.
If you are 66 years or over and live alone, you will qualify if you are getting one of the following payments
- State Pension (Contributory)
- State Pension (Non-Contributory)
- Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
- Widow's/Widower's Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme
- Incapacity Supplement under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme
- Deserted Wife's Benefit
To get the increase in your payment you must live completely alone. However, there are some exceptions:
If you are living in an extension of a family member's home, for example, in a granny flat, you can qualify for the increase if you can show that you have facilities to cook and eat alone. You must also have your own living/dining and sleeping accommodation.
You may also qualify as living alone if you are aged or infirm and have a friend or relative to stay for security reasons at night-time only. The friend or relative must not contribute to the household financially.
The increase may also be payable if you live alone during the day but stay with relatives or friends at night or if you live alone during the week but have a relative to stay at the weekend (the living alone condition is satisfied as long as the relative has a permanent home address elsewhere).
You will also qualify if you live alone but occasionally take in paying guests (for example, during a local festival). However, if you run a bed and breakfast business (even for part of the year) you will not qualify.
People who live in sheltered accommodation may qualify if they are regarded as living independently within the institution. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provides a list of hostels/homes where Living Alone Increase is payable. You will not qualify if you share dormitory accommodation with others, or have round-the clock supervision or nursing care.
People who live in nursing homes will not qualify as they cannot be regarded as living completely or mainly alone.
Telephone Support Allowance
Since 4 June 2018, if you’re getting the Living Alone Increase together with the Fuel Allowance, you will automatically qualify for a Telephone Support Allowance of €2.50 per week. It is paid separately from your primary payment and is intended to help with the cost of communications and/or a home alert system. As this allowance is paid automatically to people who qualify, you do not need to apply for it.
The Department has published useful FAQs about the Telephone Support Allowance on welfare.ie.
Weekly payment from 6 January 2020:
|Living Alone Increase||€14|
How to apply
Fill in a Living Alone Increase application form (pdf). Send the completed form to the section of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection that pays your main pension or benefit.
Your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office will be able to answer any questions about the Living Alone Increase and can help you to complete your form.