Winter is coming, and loads of hefty fuel bills as you heat a poorly insulated, damp, rented gaff from a minted landlord who probably has under floor heating and triple bleedin glazing in his McMansion down culchie land.
So, roll on the 8th of October when those in receipt of Fuel Allowance will get an extra 20 quid per week with their Social Welfare payment for the following 6 months of Irish Winter.
This adds up to a pretty substantial €520 between now and April so it’s worth checking out. Although applied automatically in some cases, if you’re on the dole or a One Parent Family payment you’re much better off sticking in an application in case this doesn’t happen. Get it in quickly though, if it’s in after the 8th it can still be awarded but won’t be backdated.
People on the dole and sharing houses are the ones most likely to miss out on this payment as it’s often not that clear to them if they qualify. Basically, they need to meet 4 conditions:
- Be on the dole for the past 15 months (the rule is 390 days but as a day of rest Sunday’s don’t exist for Social Welfare purposes)
- If you are working part time while claiming then your total weekly income can’t be more than €330 including your Social Welfare payment.
- Don’t live with workers or students; you need to be living only with people who also have a potential entitlement to Fuel Allowance themselves. That said, people who are on the dole for less than 15 months are allowed as housemates and if you are claiming for your student boyfriend on your own Jobseekers payment that’s also allowed.
- Get in there first. Only one person in a house can get the fuel allowance and if your savvy housemate has already got their application in then good for them.
If you lost us at step number 2 then put an application in anyway, it goes to your local Social Welfare Office. The worst that can happen is they say no.
And don’t be put off by the form, if you don’t know your housemates PPS number, exact bank balance or first pets name then write that on the form that you don’t know – they can come back to you on it but at least your claim is lodged.
Pretending that you don’t have housemates in order to claim Fuel Allowance is pretty hard to pull off, and probably not that advisable.
The form and more details are on welfare.ie, just search ‘National Fuel Scheme’.