Fuel Allowance customers can now opt for lump sum payment this Winter


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 New measures announced by Minister Doherty at Pre-Budget Forum

Friday, 21st July, 2017: Employment and Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, T.D. has announced today that Department of Social Protection customers who receive the Fuel Allowance will have the option to receive the payment in two lump sum payments this year.

Up until now, the Fuel Allowance has been paid on a weekly basis between October and April.  The rate of payment is €22.50 per week which amounts to €585 per fuel allowance season.   Fuel Allowance is a means assessed payment to assist householders receiving long-term social welfare payments unable to provide for their own heating needs.

Addressing the Department of Social Protection’s Pre-Budget Forum in Dublin Castle, Minister Doherty said: “I am pleased to announce that from October when the new Fuel Season begins, our customers who receive the Fuel Allowance will have the option to receive their payment in two lump sums – one at the start of the fuel season in October and the second in January.  The value of the lump sums will be €292.50 each. 

“I understand that a number of representative groups who attend the Pre-Budget Forum every year have suggested that the Department should consider offering a lump sum facility to customers of the Fuel Allowance.  I believe that it should be used on a trial basis for the next fuel season to enable people to buy fuel in bulk and potentially avail of special offers or discounts on the purchase of the particular fuel that meets their specific needs.”

Note for Editors

A study carried out by the Department of Social Protection last year showed that the difference in price for a customer buying between 20 and 25 litres of kerosene was on average, 11% per litre more expensive than for a customer who bought greater quantities e.g. 400 litres while people who were in a position to buy multiple bags of coal could in some instances get them for as much €3 per bag cheaper.

Expenditure on the Fuel Allowance for 2016/2017 is estimated at €229 million, benefiting approx. 376,000 households.

A person may qualify for a Fuel Allowance if they are receiving one of the following payments directly from the Department of Social Protection:

  • State Pension (Contributory/Non Contributory)
  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension (Contributory/Non Contributory)
  • Incapacity Supplement under the Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme
  • Blind Pension
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Disability Allowance
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance
  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory/ Non Contributory)
  • Farm Assist
  • Jobseeker's Allowance over 15 months
  • Jobseeker's Allowance Transition
  • Death Benefit Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme
  • Social Security Pension from a country covered by EU Regulations or a country with whom Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement (provided there is an equivalent Irish payment).
  • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

As the Rural Social Scheme, Tus, Gateway and CE customers are not paid directly by the Department of Social Protection, the Fuel Allowance trial option will not apply to them but they will be considered further if the option is continued in the future.

Last modified:21/07/2017