Minister Burton extends Fuel Allowance season


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The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D. has today (Wednesday, 27th March, 2013) announced that the Fuel Allowance season will be extended by one week to further assist recipients in light of the current cold weather conditions.

“I want to reassure recipients worried about heating their homes during the current cold snap, so I am extending the scheme by one week. A total of 410,000 people receive the Fuel Allowance and the extended payment will be made automatically, meaning they will not have to apply.

“My Department has been closely monitoring the weather conditions and this extension should ensure that recipients are covered throughout this unseasonable weather spell. This will make it easier for recipients to heat their homes and I hope this will give them peace of mind.”

The Fuel Allowance is paid for 26 weeks over the coldest months of the year, from October to April, and final payments for the 2012-2013 season were due to be paid in the first week of April.

Today’s decision to extend the season means recipients will receive a further payment from week beginning April 8th.

Minister Burton said: “Today’s extension will provide additional assistance and reassurance to recipients. It’s also important to note that the Fuel Allowance is just one of several ways in which the Department assists low-income households with their heating costs.”

The Fuel Allowance is €20 per week and assists qualified households in receipt of long-term social welfare or HSE payments. The majority of recipients are in receipt of State pensions, One-parent Family Payment, Disability payments or long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance. The Department will spend €211 million on the scheme this year, helping approximately 410,000 recipients with their heating costs.

Separately, the Department will spend €284 million this year on the Household Benefits package of electricity and gas allowances, a scheme to assist low-income households. A similar number of people – approximately 410,000 – receive the Household Benefits package, the heating element of which is worth €420 per year.

Approximately 150,000 customers receive both the Fuel Allowance and Household Benefits package.

In addition, more than 3,000 customers are currently in receipt of a special heating supplement, paid to assist people with special heating needs because of ill health or infirmity. 

Finally, under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme, Exceptional Needs Payments may be made to help meet an essential, once-off cost which customers are unable to meet out of their own resources - this may include exceptional heating costs.

 

Extension of payment of Fuel Allowance 2012/2013 Season: Revised final date for payments

 

​Scheme

 

Last Payment​

​No of customers 

(estimated)

​Jobseeker’s Allowance ​Tuesday 9th April 2013 ​105,851
​Disability Allowance Wed​nesday 10th April 2013 ​49,172

​One-Parent Family Payment,

Invalidity Pension,

State Pension Transition,

Deserted Wife’s Benefit/Allowance.

Thursday 11th April 2013

 

87,160

​State Pension Contributory,

State Pension Non-Contributory,

Widow’s Pensions (Con & Non-Con),

Guardian’s Payments (Con & Non-Con),

Blind Person’s Pension

Friday 12th April 2013

 

​163,750

​Back to Work Allowance ​Monday 15th April 2013 ​2,506
 
Notes: BTWA payment schedule runs from Monday to Saturday so this group start the fuel season later than other social welfare schemes. This is reason for late final payment date of 15th April (in the week after other recipients).

Fuel allowance is also paid to long-term Supplementary Welfare Allowance recipients and some Occupational Injuries Benefit recipients. The date of payment for these customers varies from customer to customer (1,426 customers in this category).

 

ENDS

Last modified:27/03/2013
 

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