Níl an leathanach seo ar fáil as Gaeilge fós


Print page

Guidelines used in processing claims

Contents

Section 1 General Information

1.1 What is Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non Contributory Pension?
1.2 Information Leaflets
1.3 Legislation
1.4 Administration
1.5 How to qualify for Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non Contributory Pension.
1.6 Qualifying Conditions for Widow/ers previously divorced
1.7 Disqualifications:

  1. Cohabitation
  2. Remarriage
  3. Divorce
  4. Annulment
  5. Absence from the State
  6. Imprisonment

Section 2 The Means Test

2.1 What is the means test?
2.2 What counts as means?
2.3 How is cash income assessed?
2.4 How is capital assessed?
2.5 What happens if I save some of my pension?
2.6 Deprivation of capital
2.7 What does not count as means?

Section 3 Payment

3.1 If I qualify for pension, how much will I get?
3.2 How will my pension be paid?
3.4 How long will my pension last?
3.5 Other increases/benefits that may be payable to you

Section 4 How to claim your pension

4.1 When and how do I claim Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non Contributory Pension?
4.2 Certificates needed with your application form
4.3 Late Claims
4.4 How will your claim to pension be decided?
4.5 Appeal against a decision on a pension claim
4.6 What happens if I go to live outside the State?
4.7 Change of circumstances ‑ need to notify the Department
4.8 Will my claim be reviewed?
4.9 Can I get another payment as well as Surviving Civil Partner's Non Contributory Pension?
4.10 Your right to social welfare records

Appendix 1:

What does not count as means?

Appendix 2:

Other increases/benefits that may be payable to you
Free Travel
Fuel Allowance under the National Fuel Scheme
Household Benefits Package
Supplementary Welfare Allowance
Carer's Allowance/Benefit

After death payment
Bereavement Grant


Section 1 General Information

1.1 What is Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non Contributory Pension?

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non Contributory Pension is a means‑tested payment payable to a widow or widower up to age 66 who does not satisfy the contribution conditions for contributory widow/er's pension. Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non Contributory Pension is a payment for widow/ers who do not have dependent children.

Note: A widow/er or surviving civil with dependent children may qualify for One‑Parent Family Payment. See separate guideline on "One‑Parent Family Payment" for more detail.

1.2 Information Leaflets:

Apart from the information contained in this guideline, the following information leaflets may also be of interest to you. These are available, free of charge, from the Department's Information Service, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo (LoCall: 1890 66 22 44)

  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension ( SW 26)
  • Guide to Social Welfare Services ( SW4)
  • Household Benefits Package ( SW 107)
  • National Fuel Scheme ( SW 17)
  • Free Travel ( SW 40)
  • Rates of Payment Booklet ( SW19)
  • Carers Allowance/Benefit ( SW41 / SW42)
  • Pensioners and Savings ( SW 60)

1.3 Legislation:

The main legislative provisions relating to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension are contained in

  • Chapter 6 of Part 3 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005 (Sections 162 to 171 inclusive) as amended;
  • Part 5 of Schedule 3 of the above Act (as amended);
  • Chapter 6 of Part 3 of the Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No.142 of 2007)

1.4 Administration:

The scheme is administered by the Social Welfare Services Sligo, College Road, Sligo. Telephone: LoCall 1890 500 000, Fax Number: 071 9148437.

1.5 How to qualify for Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension

To qualify for this pension, you must satisfy all of the following conditions i.e you must

  • be widowed or a surviving civil partner (includes a person divorced from spouse prior to spouse's death and not remarried, or subsequently entered into a civil partnership, subject to conditions- see 1.6 below)
  • be aged under 66
  • not be cohabiting
  • have a valid Personal Public Service Number(PPSN)
  • be habitually resident in the State; (Please refer to separate guideline on Habitual Residence Condition SW 108)
  • be living in the State while getting Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension (However, please see paragraph in this guideline entitled " Absence from the State?")
  • satisfy a means test

1.6 Qualifying Conditions - for Widow/ers previously divorced

Where a person has been married more than once, the condition of being widowed relates only to the last spouse of the person. However, a person who is divorced from his/her late spouse, being a divorce that is recognised as valid in the State, and has not remarried, will qualify as a widow/er, provided all other qualifying conditions are satisfied. The provision enabling divorced persons to qualify for pension is contained in Section 12 of Social Welfare No 2 Act 1995, which was introduced by virtue of S.I. 194/97, with effect from 21 April 1997. A Widow/er's or surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension is not payable to a person who is legally divorced from their former spouse (i.e. a divorce that is recognised as valid in the State), for any period prior to 21 April 1997.

1.7 Disqualifications

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable in the following circumstances

Cohabitation

A Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable while a person is cohabiting with someone as husband and wife.

Remarriage

A Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable after a person remarries.

Divorce

A Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable to a person who is legally divorced from their former spouse (i.e. a divorce that is recognised as valid in the State), for any period prior to 21 April 1997. Subsequent to this date a divorced person has entitlement to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension provided they have not remarried or cohabit.

Annulment

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable to a person whose marriage has been annulled in civil law by the State. Where a State annulment has occurred, the marriage is deemed never to have taken place.

Note:
A church annulment does not affect the status of a widow/er for Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension purposes, as the marriage has not in effect been legally dissolved.

Absence from the State

A Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable to a person absent from the State. Payment may be made in certain circumstances for periods during which a person is temporarily outside the State e.g. on holidays, attending a family funeral, etc. Payment may be made in such circumstances for up to 3 weeks.

Imprisonment

A Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable while a person is undergoing penal servitude, imprisonment, or detention in legal custody. [Exceptions to disqualification are contained in Articles 218 and 219 of SI 142/2007]

Payment of pension may resume when the person is released from prison, provided s/he satisfies the qualifying conditions.

Section 2 The Means Test

2.1 What is the means test?

A means test is a way of checking if you have enough means to support yourself and what amount of payment, if any, you may qualify for. Your means are any income belonging to you and property (except your own home) or an asset that could provide you with an income.

Provided you satisfy the other conditions of the scheme with regard to age, habitual residence, living in the State and PPS number, you will qualify for Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension if your weekly means are equal to or less than €196.20. Your weekly rate of payment will depend on the actual amount of your means.

To determine your means, you must complete the application in full. You must declare full details of your means. Incomplete application forms will be returned to the applicant and may ultimately delay the award of pension.

It is possible that the application may be referred to your local Social Welfare Inspector who will request an interview with you. You may be asked to produce supporting documentation such as bank statements or accounts.

If you are awarded a pension, you are legally obliged to report any increases in means to the Department within seven days. If you do not do so, you may incur an overpayment of pension which you (or your Estate after your death) will have to repay.

2.2 What counts as means?

The main items that count as means include:

  • cash income which you may have (e.g. earnings from employment, self‑employment, an occupational pension, a British or other foreign pension). However it should be noted that a specific earnings disregard of 100.00 applies to pensioners in employment. Please see "How is cash income assessed?" at 2.3 below. The 100.00 earnings disregard is not extended to the self employed or farming.
  • value of capital (e.g. savings, investments, cash in hand)
  • any property you may have (but not your own home)

2.3 How is cash income assessed?

2.3(a). Income from employment:

Cash income from employment is assessed as part of your means. However, there is an additional earnings disregard of 100.00 for a pensioner in employment. For example, your gross earnings less the first 100.00 in earnings together with social insurance contributions, superannuation contributions, health contributions and trade union subscriptions will be assessed as your means for pension purposes.

2.3(b). Income from self‑employment:

Income from self‑employment is taken to be the gross profit less allowable work‑related expenses, but not drawings. If you take 'drawings' from the business, these are assessed as cash income.

There is no exhaustive list of all allowable expenses in self‑employed cases, since these vary with the nature and extent of the self‑employment. However, the following are the main allowable expenses in most instances;

  • materials (supplies costs)
  • motor running costs (portion applicable to business only)
  • depreciation of machinery and equipment
  • insurance relating to the business
  • telephone (portion applicable to business only)
  • lighting and heating (for business and not domestic use)
  • advertising
  • bank charges
  • van leasing
  • labour costs
  • pension plan
  • any other costs associated with running the business.

Household running costs are not allowed as deductions against business profit.

2.3(c). Income from farming:

If you own a farm of land, the yearly value of any advantage that you have from owning or leasing it will be assessed as income. The yearly value is worked out by deducting any necessary expenses incurred from the gross income.

If you deprive yourself of an income in order to either qualify for pension, or to qualify for pension at a higher rate, that income will be assessed against you as means. However, this may not apply in the case of certain family settlements involving the transfer of ownership of a farm/business.

2.4 How is capital assessed?

Capital refers to savings, investments, cash‑on‑hands and property (excluding your own home) that you have. The combined value of all these items is added together and a special formula (see below) is applied to their total value to calculate your weekly means.

Amount of savings and investments Weekly means assessment
First €20,000.00 Nil
Next €10,000.00 €1.00 per €1,000.00
Next €10,000.00 €2.00 per €1,000.00
Balance €4.00 per €1,000.00

2.5 What happens if I save some of my pension each week?

If you save a portion of your Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension each week, these savings will be taken into account as part of your means. Depending upon the amount of savings you accumulate along with any other means you might have, this could result in a reduction in (or revocation of) your pension.

You are legally obliged to notify the Department within seven days of any increase in your means.

2.6 Deprivation of Capital

If you deprive yourself of capital in order to either qualify for pension, or to qualify for pension at a higher rate, then that capital will be assessed against you as means. However, this may not apply in the case of certain family settlements involving the transfer or ownership of a farm or business.

2.7 What does count as means?

A list of the main items that are not taken into account in the means test are set out in Appendix 1.

Section 3 Payment

3.1 If I qualify for pension, how much will I get?

If you qualify for a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension, the pension will be made up of a personal rate depending on your level of means. The weekly personal rates of pension are shown in the Rates of Payment Booklet SW19.

A person who has no other means can have capital of up to €27,999 and qualify for the maximum rate of pension of €188.00 per week. Alternatively, the same person can have capital as high as €80,999 and qualify for a reduced pension of €3.00 per week.

On reaching age 66 the Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension will cease and the person will be invited to apply for State Pension Non Contributory

3.2 How will my pension be paid?

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is payable weekly in advance. The payment date is Friday irrespective of which day of the week a person's spouse dies.

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension may be paid :

  • directly into your bank or building society account. This is known as EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer). This is known as EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer).
  1. or
  • at a chosen post office by Social Services Card (SSC)

3.3 How long will my pension last?

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is payable until you reach the age of 66 and as long as you satisfy the qualifying conditions for receipt of payment. On reaching age 66 the Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension will automatically cease and you will be invited to apply for the State Pension.

3.4 Other increases/benefits that maybe payable to you

Please see Appendix 2 for a list of other allowances and benefits that you may qualify for.

Section 4 How to claim your pension

4.1 When and how do I claim Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension

Apart from satisfying the conditions of making a claim, you should apply for the pension within three months from the day on which you became entitled thereto i.e. from the date of death of your spouse.

To apply, please complete an application form ( WP1), available from your post office, local Social Welfare Office or from Social Welfare Services, Sligo. When completed, please send it along with all necessary supporting documentation to

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Section
Social Welfare Services, Sligo
College Road
Sligo

Tel: (LoCall) 1890 500 000

4.2 Certificates needed with your application form

Evidence of births, marriages and civil partnerships which occurred in the State are available to the Department and are not required to be sent with the application. However where the marriages and civil and civil partnerships occurred outside the State evidence must be provided by sending us the following Certificates, where relevant:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your late spouse's or civil partner's birth certificate
  • Your civil marriage/partnership certificate

However evidence of the claimant's late spouse's civil partner's death is required. Where a Death Certificate is not available a memorial card or press cutting showing the date of death should be forwarded.

We do not accept photocopies of certificates. If the certificate(s) are not immediately available, the claimant should send the pension application form with a note stating that the certificate(s) will be forwarded as soon as possible. If sending in certificate(s) at a later date, the claimant should ensure that the pension claim number is quoted. This number is automatically provided when we receive the application.

A claim cannot be awarded without confirmation that a person is the legal widow(er)/surviving partner of the deceased or would have been the legal widow(er)/surviving civil partner but for the fact that s/he and spouse/surviving civil partner were divorced and the divorce is recognised as valid in the State.

4.3 Late Claims

A claim to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension should be made within three months of the date of entitlement i.e. date of death of spouse/surviving civil partner. Where a person fails to make a claim within the prescribed time, s/he will be disqualified from receiving payment in respect of any period prior to the date of claim. This also applies to making a claim for any increases.

If you apply for pension late, you may lose out on part of your entitlement. There is provision to backdate the award of pension for up to 6 months before the date on which the claim was made. However, you will have to have a valid reason for claiming late before any decision to back‑date the claim is considered.

It is also possible in certain exceptional circumstances to back‑date claims for periods in excess of 6 months as follows;

  • if the failure to claim on time arose as a result of incorrect information supplied by staff of the Department to you.
  • where the delay arose due to you being incapacitated by illness or infirmity. However, an illness though disabling, which would not cause your mental faculties to diminish significantly, would not be accepted as sufficient reason for late claim.
  • you were the subject of a 'force majeure' i.e. you were subject to extreme events or actions which prevented you from claiming on time.
  • if you are experiencing financial hardship. However, you must have current debts, which cannot be discharged from current income or disposable assets.

In all cases where a backdated payment is being considered, entitlement to pension throughout that period must have been satisfactorily established.

If you feel that you may be entitled to a back‑dated payment under any of the provisions outlined above, please set out your case in writing to us and supply any supporting documentation. Please also quote your pension claim number when writing to us.

4.4 How will my claim to pension be decided?

Your application for pension will be decided by a statutorily appointed Deciding Officer of the Department who will notify you in writing of his/her decision. Deciding Officers are independent in the exercise of their functions in deciding on entitlements to pension. If your claim is disallowed or allowed at a reduced rate of payment, you will be given full details including details of the means assessed.

If you consider that the decision you receive is incorrect, or you require clarification in relation to it, please contact the Deciding Officer immediately. It is also open to you to forward to the Deciding Officer any further documentary evidence that you think is relevant and s/he will then review the decision.

4.5 Appeal against a decision of a Deciding Officer

If you are not satisfied with the Deciding Officer's decision (either before or after seeking a review), you may appeal it to the independent Social Welfare Appeal's Office by writing to the Chief Appeals Officer, D'Olier House, D'Olier Street, Dublin 2 (Tel: 1890 74 74 34) setting out fully the grounds of your appeal.

Your appeal should be submitted within 21 days of the date of the decision letter. However, if you first seek a review by the Deciding Officer, you have 21 days from the completion of that review in which to make your appeal.

4.6 What happens if I go to live outside the State?

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable if you go to live outside the State.

However payment may be made in certain circumstances for periods during which a person is temporarily outside the State e.g. on holidays, attending a family funeral, etc. Payment may be made in such circumstances for up to 3 weeks.

If you are leaving the State to live abroad, there is a legal obligation on you to notify the Department. It is not sufficient to notify your post office or financial institution. When you return to live here, you should re‑apply immediately for your pension.

4.7 Change of circumstances ‑ need to notify the Department

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension Section must be notified as quickly as possible if any of the changes set out below occur as they may affect your entitlement to pension. Remember to quote your pension reference number whenever you contact us.

If your means has increased for any reason, you are legally obliged to notify the Department of the increase(s) within a period of seven days. For example, if you are getting an occupational pension, foreign retirement pension or any other type of income, you must notify us in writing of any increases in this income by sending us a copy of the latest payment slip(s) you receive. Also, if the combined value of your savings, investments, cash‑on‑hands and property (except your own home) increases, you must advise us of the details.

If you do not notify the Department of increases in your means, you may incur an overpayment of pension which you (or your Estate after your death) will have to repay.

Other changes which require notification

  • you change address
  • you wish to change the way in which your pension is paid (post office or bank )
  • you wish to have a person nominated to cash your pension (at a post office) on your behalf
  • you leave the State, take up a FS course or are detained in legal custody

4.8 Will my claim be reviewed?

A review is initiated when the Department is notified of any change in circumstances that may affect entitlement. This review may be carried out by way of a visit from a Social Welfare Inspector or by direct correspondence or phone contact.

Periodic reviews are also initiated by the Department to confirm that the correct payment is being made to the correct person and that the qualifying conditions for receipt of Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension continue to be fulfilled.

4.9 Can I get another payment as well as Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension?

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is not payable in addition to other social welfare payments except in the following circumstances:

(i) A person may receive Guardian's Payment (Contributory) or Guardian's Payment (Non‑Contributory) in addition to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension.

(ii) A person may receive half the personal rate of:

  1. Jobseeker's Benefit
  2. Illness Benefit
  3. Occupational Injury Benefit
  4. Health and Safety Benefit
  5. Adoptive Benefit ( see note below)
  6. Maternity Benefit ( see note below)
  7. Incapacity Supplement

for a period not exceeding 390 days, in addition to the maximum rate Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension, provided the conditions for receipt of such payment are satisfied.

Note: In the case of Maternity Benefit the period is 26 weeks and in the case of Adoptive Benefit the period is 24 weeks.

(iii) Where a person is in receipt of a reduced rate Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension, s/he may also be paid one of the benefits at (ii) above, provided that the total payment does not exceed the sum of the maximum rate of Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension combined with half the personal rate of the benefit concerned.

Note: these half rate payments will cease for new applicants for Jobseeker's Benefit, Illness Benefit or Incapacity Supplement from January 2012.

(iv) Blind Pension Where a person is in receipt of Blind Pension and Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension, the following benefits are not payable:

  1. Jobseeker's Benefit
  2. Illness Benefit
  3. Occupational Injury Benefit
  4. Health and Safety Benefit
  5. Adoptive Benefit
  6. Maternity Benefit
  7. Incapacity Supplement

(v) Family Income Supplement may be payable to employed persons on low income in addition to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension. However the Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension is assessable as means.

(vi) Disablement Benefit at the personal rate is payable in addition to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension.

(vii) A person who is in receipt of Invalidity Pension and satisfies the conditions for a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension, may receive half the personal rate of Illness Benefit to which they are entitled, for a period not exceeding 390 days, instead of Invalidity Pension. This is paid in addition to the Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension.

(viii) Introduction of half rate Carer's Allowance

From 27 September 2007 a person who is claiming a Social Welfare Payment (other than Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit) or being claimed for as a Qualified Adult and who is providing full time care to another person may now apply for Carer's Allowance and retain their current payment in full. If they satisfy the conditions for Carer's Allowance it will be awarded at 50% of the personal rate they would qualify for if they were not in receipt of any other payment. They will also be eligible for Household Benefits and a Free Travel Pass.

However it should be noted that half rate Carer's payment shall not be payable where a person is in receipt of more than one payment.

4.10 Your right to social welfare records

Under the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003, you have the right;

  • to access records held by the Department
  • to have official information relating to you that is held by the Department amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • to obtain reasons for acts of the Department that affect you.

You may not be able to access certain records which are exempt under the Act e.g. information relating to another person.

Requests for access to records must be made in writing and contain enough information so that we know what records you are looking for. Request forms are available from your local Social Welfare.

APPENDIX 1

What does not count as means?

The following are the main items that do not count as means;

  • your own home
  • income from property assessed on its capital value
  • any payment made by the Department of Social Protection
  • the value of the first 20,000.00 of capital.
  • any moneys received in respect of rent from a person who resides with the claimant or beneficiary and but for the residence of the person the claimant or beneficiary would reside alone,
  • money received from a recognised charitable organisation (excluding a public or local authority)
  • the maintenance element of a higher education grant paid in respect of you.
  • the first 100.00 of earnings from employment (excluding self employed or farming).
  • any expenses necessarily incurred in carrying on any form of self-employment;
  • the yearly value of all income derived from compensation awarded

(a) by the Compensation Tribunal established by the Minister for Health on 15.12.95, the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal established under Section 3 of the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal Act, 1997 (No. 34 of 1997), the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal established under Section 2 of the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal (Amendment) Act, 2002 (No. 21 of 2002), or by a court of competent jurisdiction, to compensate certain persons who have contracted Hepatitis C or Human Immunoglobulin Virus within the State from the use of Human Immunoglobulin ‑ Anti‑D, whole blood or other blood products, or

(b) to persons who have disabilities caused by Thalidomide and

(c) to persons by the Residential Institutions Redress Board

(d) under the provisions of the Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006 (No. 17 of 2006) to a relevant person within the meaning of that Act.

  • Mobility Allowance from the Department of Health and Children
  • 104 per year from an allowance, dependant's allowance, disability or wound pension under the Army Pension's Act, 1923 to 1980, or a combination of such allowances and pensions, including a British War Pension.
  • any income arising by way of an infectious diseases maintenance allowance to or in respect of the person
  • any income from providing accommodation to students studying Irish in Gaeltacht areas, under a scheme administered by the Minister for the Gaeltacht.

APPENDIX 2

OTHER INCREASES/BENEFITS THAT MAY BE PAYABLE TO YOU

Free Travel:

A person aged 60 to 65 in receipt of Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension and whose late spouse held a Free Travel Pass prior to death, may qualify for a Free Travel Pass provided the parties were residing permanently together. Application should be made for this pass.

Fuel Allowance under the National Fuel Scheme

The National Fuel Scheme is intended to help households who are dependent on long‑term social welfare or health board payments and who are unable to provide for their own heating needs. The scheme operates for 26 weeks from October to April.

If you qualify for a Widow/ers Non Contributory Pension, you may be also eligible to claim a Fuel Allowance of €20.00 per week.

See information leaflet National Fuel Scheme ( SW 17) for further details.

Household Benefits Package

Household Benefits Package includes the following free scheme allowances :

  • Electricity/Natural Gas/Bottled Gas Refill Allowance
  • Free Television Licence
  • Telephone Allowance

A person aged 60 to 65(inclusive) in receipt of Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension and whose late spouse was in receipt of any of the free schemes listed above prior to death, may qualify for these allowances. Application should be made for the appropriate allowances.

A person transferring from Invalidity Pension to Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension will continue to benefit from any free schemes to which s/he had entitlement while receiving Invalidity Pension.

As an alternative to the electricity allowance, a person may claim a Natural Gas Allowance, Bottled Gas Allowance or Electricity (Group Account) Allowance.

Please see information leaflet Household Benefits Package ( SW 107) for further details.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance:

A person may qualify for additional payments under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme from the Health Service Executive, e.g. Rent or Mortgage Interest Subsidy, Diet Supplement, Exceptional Needs Payments, Medical Card etc.

Carer's Allowance/Benefit

If you need full‑time care and attention, the person looking after you may qualify for a Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit. Carer's Allowance is a means‑tested payment see information booklet SW41 for more details.

Carer's Benefit is a payment made to insured persons who leave the workforce to care for a person in need of full‑time care and attention ‑ see information booklet SW 49 for more details.

AFTER DEATH PAYMENT

Bereavement Grant

A Bereavement Grant is a once‑off payment of €850.00. It is designed to provide financial assistance to alleviate funeral and other post‑bereavement expenses on the death of a pensioner or his/her qualified adult or child. Entitlement is based upon PRSI contributions. It is possible that the grant may be payable to the next‑of‑kin of a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension pensioner if s/he had paid some social insurance contributions during his/her working life.

As soon as the Department is notified of the death of a pensioner or his/her dependants, we will issue an application form for the Bereavement Grant to the next‑of‑kin. Alternatively, claim forms are available from any post office, Social Welfare Local Office or by contacting the Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension Section, Social Welfare Services Sligo, College Road, Sligo. The deceased person's Death Certificate together with the funeral bill or receipt of payment should be sent to us along with the completed claim form. The grant is normally paid to the person responsible for the payment of the funeral bill.

For further details, please see our information leaflet SW 47.

Last modified:24/01/2012
 

 Foirmeacha Iarratais

 
 

 Íoslódáilí