This measure is set to increase the rate of the Fuel Allowance by €2.50 a week, increasing the total value of the allowance from €520 to €585 over the fuel season.
The fuel allowance is a payment low income households to assist them with their energy costs. The allowance is paid for 26 weeks from October to April. Only one Fuel Allowance is paid to a household. The fuel allowance is a means tested payment, targeted at those who are more vulnerable to energy poverty, including those reliant on social protection payments for longer periods and who are unlikely to have additional resources of their own and as such any increase in Fuel Allowance rate will directly benefit the most vulnerable in society.
Fuel Allowance recipients will gain an additional €2.50 per week.
Qualifying schemes for Fuel Allowance include: Jobseeker’s Allowance (after 391 days), Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (after 391 days ), Farm Assist, One Parent Family Payment, Blind Pension, Deserted Wife’s Benefit or Allowance, Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension, State Pension (Contributory or Non-Contributory), Guardian’s Payment (Contributory or Non-Contributory), Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’ Pension (Contributory or Non-Contributory), Pre-retirement Allowance (abolished for New claims since 04/07/2007), Incapacity Supplement under the Occupational Injury Benefit Scheme, Department of Social Protection Employment Support Schemes and Revenue Job Assist, Social Security Payment from a country covered by EU Regulations
Improvements to the scheme since it was established in its present form in 1988 have concentrated on extending the categories of people who qualify and on easing the means test.