Fuel Allowance 2021: How to claim your €28 per week

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The Fuel Allowance aims to help those dependent on long-term social welfare payments with the high cost of heating their homes during the winter months. Read on to find out if you're eligible, as well as how to apply.

Irish energy prices are among the highest in Europe. Energy bills are even more expensive during the winter months due to the colder climate and weather upheavals in recent years, such as “the beast from the east”. Making sure your house is warm in the colder months is no mean feat.

To add to this, price hikes by energy suppliers tend to start during the summer and continue into the second half of the year. These are pushed by an overall increase in wholesale energy prices.

Keeping your household at a comfortable temperature can be especially difficult for citizens who are older, unwell or have a disability. The Fuel Allowance attempts to offset this.

The Fuel Allowance is also compatible with the Household Benefits Package, so you can receive both at the same time.

How much is the Fuel Allowance in 2020/2021?

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As of 4 January 2021, the Fuel Allowance in Ireland is €28 per week. Prior to this increase, the weekly Fuel Allowance was €24.50. The total amount of the Fuel Allowance for the 2020/2021 season is €735. This includes €24.50 per week for the first 14 weeks of the season, and €28 per week for the remaining 14 weeks.

The Fuel Allowance in Ireland can be received in two different ways — either as a weekly €28 payment during the fuel season (usually from October to April for 28 weeks) or in two lump-sum payments, which are typically paid in October and January. If you chose to receive your allownce in lump-sum payments for the 2020/2021 season, the first one should have been for €343 and the second for €392.

For those that receive weekly payments, the Fuel Allowance is typically paid together with your usual pension or benefit. If you do not receive a social welfare payment, your Fuel Allowance will be paid directly into your bank account, or you can also collect it at your local post office.

Make sure to get your applications in as early as possible. If you apply after the fuel season has already started, you won’t receive any backdated allowance. This means you could find yourself significantly out of pocket.

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When does the Fuel Allowance start?

The Fuel Allowance season for 2020/2021 runs from 28 September 2020 to 9 April 2021. This spans a total of 28 weeks.

Payments are usually paid on the same day that you receive your social welfare payment. If you chose to get your allowance in two lump sums, you should have already received both payments. The first Fuel Allowance lump sum of €343 was paid during the first week of October 2020. The second lump sum of €392 should have been paid during the second week of January.

Is the Fuel Allowance backdated?

The Fuel Allowance is not backdated. If you apply after the start of the Fuel Allowance season, you may still be eligible to receive payments going forward. However, you will have missed out on any possible payments prior to applying.

Who can qualify for the Fuel Allowance?

There are three categories to consider when checking to see if a person is eligible for the Fuel Allowance. You must be eligible in each category in order to qualify.

The first hurdle can be ticked off if you receive any of the payments below:

  • State pension
  • Widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s pension
  • Incapacity supplement
  • Blind pension
  • Invalidity pension
  • Disability allowance
  • Deserted wife’s allowance
  • One-parent family payment
  • Guardian’s payment
  • Farm assist
  • Pre-retirement allowance
  • Basic supplementary welfare allowance (for more than 455 days)
  • Jobseekers allowance (for more than 390 days)
  • Jobseekers transitional payment
  • Death benefit (under the occupational injuries scheme)
  • Social security payment from Ireland, an EEA country, or a country which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement with
  • Certain other schemes such as back to work allowance, back to work enterprise allowance, rural social scheme, tús, or community employment schemes.
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For any contributory payments — where you have partly paid for them in advance — the application may be means-tested.

Which countries have bilateral social security agreements with Ireland?

A map of the world with the relevant countries highlighted in blue
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Channel Islands
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

The second consideration for eligibility is your living situation. You must either be living alone or with one of the following:

  • Dependent occupants such as a spouse/civil partner/children
  • Other occupants who would also qualify for the Fuel Allowance
  • A person who is receiving the carer’s benefit and caring for you or your dependants full-time
  • A person receiving the jobseeker’s allowance or the basic supplementary welfare allowance

The third and final consideration is that neither you, nor any member of your household, should be able to provide for your heating needs from your own pocket.

NoteOnly one Fuel Allowance is allowed per household even if more than one household member qualifies for the allowance. You can, however, receive both the Fuel Allowance and the Free Electricity Allowance at the same time.

How do I apply for the Fuel Allowance?

To apply for the Fuel Allowance, you need to fill out the NFS1 form. You can either print this document yourself or pick it up from any post office. You can also simply text “FORM FUEL (your name) (your address)”, for example, “FORM FUEL Mary Murphy 5 Bracken Lane Arklow Co. Wicklow”, to 51909, and an application form will be sent to your home.

You won’t need to reapply for the Fuel Allowance every year. Unless your financial circumstances change or the payment you receive is stopped (or changed to a different payment type), you will still qualify for the Fuel Allowance. As such, you can send off your initial application and then enjoy some peace of mind.

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When filling in the Fuel Allowance form, don’t forget to indicate whether you’d prefer to receive weekly or lump-sum payments. If you’ve already applied or qualified for the allowance and later change your mind about how you’d prefer to be paid, you can still change it by filling in the CPF1 form.

The CPF1 form can also be posted to you by texting “FORM FUELCHANGE (your name) (your address)” to 51909. This Fuel Allowance form then needs to be sent to the same address that sent your original Fuel Allowance application.

In addition to applying for the Fuel Allowance, we also recommend switching your energy tariff to ensure you're getting the best offer. Switching alone could save you an additional few hundred euros per year. In the table below, you'll find the cheapest gas and electricity offers per supplier.

Cheapest Duel Fuel Offer per Supplier
Supplier Best offer Price per year
Bord Gáis Energy 31% Electricity discount
40% Gas discount
Electric Ireland 8.5% Dual fuel discount
€265 Cashback
Energia 36% Electricity discount
35% Gas discount
€35 Cashback
Flogas 40% Dual fuel discount €1,771.87
Iberdrola 29% Duel fuel discount €265 Cashback €1,653.77
Panda Power 28% dual fuel discount
€125 Cashback
PrePayPower Standard €2,379.19
SSE Airtricity 28% Electricity discount
23% Gas discount
Find the best offer for your home. Find the best offer for your home.

*Figures are for illustrative purposes only. All discounts and cashback have been applied to the price. Calculations based on average consumption figures for an urban home with a 24-hour standard meter. Last updated: October 2021

Where do I send my Fuel Allowance application form?

Once you have filled out the Fuel Allowance form, you will need to send it to the relevant government department that issues your benefit payment. For example, if you receive a state pension, then you’ll need to send your form to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

If you’re unsure of where to send your application, we've provided the qualifying payments and their associated contact addresses below (information sourced from Citizen's Information).

Payments & Contact Information
Payment Type Apply to:
Disability Allowance
Incapacity Supplement
Invalidity Pension
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office,
Government Buildings,
Balinalee Road,
Tel: ☎ (043) 334 0000
Locall: ☎ 1890 927 770
Webpage: http://www.welfare.ie
Blind Pension
Deserted Wife's Benefit/Allowance
Guardian's Payment ( C & NC )
Prisoner's Wife Allowance
State Pension ( C & NC )
Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's ( C & NC )
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Services,
College Road,
Note: This office does not accept visits from the public.
Tel: ☎ (071) 915 7100
Locall: ☎ 1890 500 000
Webpage: http://www.welfare.ie
Farm Assist
Jobseeker's Transitional Payment
Long-term Jobseeker's Allowance (15 months)
One Parent Family Payment
Send your filled-in form to your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Office
Long-term Supplementary Welfare Allowance (15 months) Make an application with a Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection representative at your local welfare office.
Persons in receipt of a social security payment from a country either covered by EU regulations, or with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement National Fuel Scheme
Social Welfare Services,
College Road,
Tel: ☎ (071) 915 7100
Locall: ☎ 1890 500 000
Webpage: http://www.welfare.ie

What is the Telephone Support Allowance?

Any person who receives the Fuel Allowance and the living-alone increase will qualify for the Telephone Support Allowance of €2.50 per week. This additional allowance was introduced in June 2018, and it lasts all year (not just during the fuel season).

The aim of the Telephone Support Allowance is to encourage communication with others for people living on their own. By subsidizing the cost, and it can also be put toward home security solutions, many of which require phone lines to be already installed.

The Telephone Support Allowance does not have to be applied for as it is automatically awarded to anyone receiving the living-alone increase and the Fuel Allowance.

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