Fuel Allowance

What is Fuel Allowance?

Fuel Allowance is a payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months.

Many people getting a social welfare payment will qualify for the Fuel Allowance – see ‘How to qualify for Fuel Allowance’ below.

The Fuel Allowance season normally begins in late September of each year and ends in April.

2022-2023 Fuel Allowance season

Fuel Allowance will be paid from the week starting Monday, 26 September 2022. It will be paid for 28 weeks.

The current rate of Fuel Allowance is €33.

If you qualify for the allowance, it is paid with your social welfare payment on the same day. You can choose to get the Fuel Allowance paid weekly or paid in 2 lump sums.

Budget 2023: Fuel Allowance

From January 2023, the following changes will apply to how income is assessed in the means test for Fuel Allowance:

  • Disablement Benefit and half-rate Carer’s Allowance will be disregarded in the means test for Fuel Allowance.
  • People aged 70 and over do not need to be getting a qualifying social welfare payment. Capital (savings and investments) not taken into account in the means test will increase from €20,000 to €50,000. They can have a weekly means (which includes their State Pension) up to €500 per week for a single person and €1,000 per week for a couple. In the case of a couple, only the person applying for the allowance needs to be aged 70 or over.
  • For people aged under 70, the weekly allowable means above the applicable State Pension (Contributory) rate will increase from €120 to €200.

How to qualify for Fuel Allowance

To get Fuel Allowance you must be living alone (or with certain people listed below), living in Ireland and getting one of the following qualifying payments:

Qualifying social insurance payments

Qualifying social assistance payments

You must live alone or only with:

  • A dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and/or dependent children
  • A person who is getting Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit and is caring for you or for your dependent spouse, partner or cohabitant on a full-time basis
  • A person getting short-term Jobseeker's Allowance or basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • Other people who are getting the qualifying payments and who would also be eligible for a Fuel Allowance in their own right

And

You or other members of your household are unable to provide for your heating needs. Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment.

Some of the reasons you may not get Fuel Allowance:

  • You live with someone who is not getting one of the qualifying payments for the Fuel Allowance
  • Your heating needs are met under a deed transferring property
  • You are on a qualifying social insurance payment and have income above the means test limit - see ‘How income is assessed for Fuel Allowance’ below
  • You are getting one of the following social insurance payments: Jobseeker's Benefit, Illness Benefit, Enhanced Illness Benefit, Occupational Injuries Benefit, Maternity Benefit or Disablement Benefit. Note that you do not qualify for Fuel Allowance if you are getting any of these payments with a qualifying payment, for example, a half-rate Maternity Benefit with a One-Parent Family Payment.

How your income is assessed for Fuel Allowance

Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment. In a means test, the Department of Social Protection (DSP) examines all your sources of income – find out more about ‘what is included on the means test’ below. Your gross weekly income must be below a certain amount to pass the means test.

You are usually accepted as passing the means test for Fuel Allowance, if you are already getting a qualifying social assistance payment.

The amount of means that you are allowed to have for Fuel Allowance is the current maximum rate of State Pension (Contributory) including any increases that you might get for your age, living alone and dependants, plus €120.

For example:

  • The assessable income limit for a single person under 80 is €373.30 (€120 plus €253.30)
  • The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is aged under 66) is €542 (€120 plus €253.30 plus €168.70)
  • The assessable income limit for a couple (where the qualified adult is aged 66 or over) is €600.30 (€120 plus €253.30 plus €227)

If you are over 80, add an extra €10 to the appropriate DSP payment rate.

What is included in the means test?

The main items included in the means test are:

Carer’s Allowance: If you are getting a qualifying social insurance payment (see list above) and you or your adult dependant is getting a half-rate Carer's Allowance, then your half-rate Carer's Allowance will be taken into account in the means test for Fuel Allowance. It is not assessed if you are getting a social assistance payment.

Other schemes: If you are on an employment support scheme or if you are getting a Back to Education Allowance, you can keep your Fuel Allowance if you continue to meet the conditions for Fuel Allowance – including the means test.

UK Winter Fuel Payment

Some UK pensioners living in Ireland may be eligible for a Winter Fuel Payment from the UK. However, the UK payment is taken into account in the means test for Fuel Allowance.

Renting a room in your home

If you are renting out a room in your home you can have an income from rent of up to €269.23 a week (€14,000 per year) without affecting your Fuel Allowance. The person renting the room in your home must use the room for a minimum of 28 consecutive days and cannot be an employee or an immediate family member.

The person renting the room from you must also be getting a qualifying social welfare payment or must qualify for a Fuel Allowance in their own right. See the rules about living alone above.

The Accommodation Recognition Payment is not taken into account in the means test, but the person renting the room from you must also be getting a qualifying social welfare payment or must qualify for a Fuel Allowance in their own right.

Rate of Fuel Allowance

The current weekly rate of Fuel Allowance is €33.

You can get your Fuel Allowance paid weekly or in 2 lump sums. The first lump sum is paid at the start of the start of the Fuel Allowance season. The second lump sum is paid in January.

The lump sum payments are not available if you are getting payments under the Rural Social Scheme, Tús and Community Employment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

Weekly payment

Fuel Allowance is usually paid from the end of September to April each year for 28 weeks. In 2022/2023 the start date for Fuel Allowance is Monday, 26 September 2022.

Lump sum payment

In 2022-2023, the total Fuel Allowance payment over 28 weeks will be €924.

It can be paid to you in 2 lump sums.

The first lump sum is paid in September 2022. The second lump sum will be paid in January 2023.

Telephone Support Allowance

If you are getting Fuel Allowance as well as the Living Alone Increase, you will also get a Telephone Support Allowance of €2.50 per week

Further information on how to keep warm

The HSE gives advice about the supports available to help you to keep well and warm during the winter. You can also use comparison websites to check the price of gas and electricity.

How to apply for Fuel Allowance

If you apply for Fuel Allowance after the start of the Fuel Allowance season, it will not be backdated.

You do not need to reapply for Fuel Allowance each year as long as, your circumstances remain the same and you continue to get the same social welfare payment.

Online application

You can apply for the Fuel Allowance online.

You will be asked for some personal and financial information. You will also be asked to upload or post any supporting documents that are needed.

You must have a verified MyGovID account to apply online.

Find out more about applying online for social welfare payments and services.

Paper application form

Fill-in the Fuel Allowance application form (pdf). You can also get this form from your local post office.

From 19 December 2022, to get a Fuel Application form, for people aged 70 and over, posted to you call 0818 200 400.

You can get help to fill in your application form at your Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch Office or Citizens Information Centre.

How the Fuel Allowance is paid

Fuel Allowance is included in your weekly payment, if you are getting a 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.

Choosing lump sum or weekly payments

You can get your Fuel Allowance paid weekly or in 2 lump sums. The first lump sum is paid at the start of the start of the Fuel Allowance season. The second lump sum is paid in January.

To get your Fuel Allowance paid in two lump sums, fill in the Change the Payment Frequency form (pdf) at least one month before the first lump sum is due.

This option is not available to people getting payments under the Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway, Community Employment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

If more than one person in a household qualifies

Only one Fuel Allowance payment is paid to a household. If 2 or more people who would qualify for a Fuel Allowance live together, only one Fuel Allowance is paid to one person in that household.

If more than one person in the household is getting a social assistance payment, you can decide who applies for Fuel Allowance.

If more than one person in the household is getting a social insurance payment, such as State Pension (Contributory) or Invalidity Pension, they should apply first (so a means test can be carried out on their income). Another qualifying person in the household can apply for Fuel Allowance, but they must include information about the person getting a social insurance payment.

Where to apply for Fuel Allowance

Apply online

You can apply for the Fuel Allowance online.

You must have a verified MyGovID account to apply online.

Paper application form

Fill in the Fuel Allowance application form (pdf).

From 19 December 2022, to get a Fuel Application form, for people aged 70 and over, posted to you call 0818 200 400.

You can get help to fill in your application form at your Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch Office or Citizens Information Centre.

Complete and return the form to the section that pays your main social welfare payment:

Where to apply to Fuel Allowance
Social welfare payment Send your application to:
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Disability Allowance
  • Incapacity Supplement

Department of Social Protection

Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Ireland

Tel: (043) 334 0000 or 0818 927 770
  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance
  • State Pension (Contributory or Non-Contributory)
  • Blind Pension
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
  • Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
  • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance

Department of Social Protection

Social Welfare Services
College Road
Sligo F91 T384
Ireland

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.
Tel: (071) 915 7100 or 0818 200 400
  • Long-term Jobseeker's Allowance (15 months)
  • Farm Assist
  • One-Parent Family Payment or Jobseeker's Transitional payment
Send your completed form to your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.
  • Long-term Supplementary Welfare Allowance (15 months)
Apply to the Department of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare Officer) at your local office.
  • A pension or benefit 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)

National Fuel Scheme

Social Welfare Services

College Road
Sligo F91 T384
Ireland

Tel: (071) 915 7100 or 0818 200 400
Page edited: 5 December 2022