Household Benefits Package 2022: Form & Details

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Wondering how to apply for the household benefits package? Where to get the application form, and who qualifies? Our easy-to-understand guide to the household benefits package in Ireland answers all of these questions and more.


What Is The Household Benefits Package?

three question marks

To eligible citizens, the Household Benefits Package offers financial assistance for common household bills. There are two allowances in the package (the telephone allowance has been discontinued since 2014).

The allowances included in the household benefits package are:

  1. A free tv licence.
  2. Credit against your electricity OR gas bills. This is also known as either the electricity or gas allowance. It can only be applied to one type of fuel.

Altogether the household benefits package can save you the tidy sum of €580 a year. Therefore, if you think you might qualify, it’s worth your while having a look at the section on eligibility below. You should also check out our articles on the fuel allowance and the 200 Euro energy payment to see if you’re entitled to these as well, all these allowances are compatible with each other and can be claimed at the same time.

You can also consider different government schemes like the help to buy and rent to buy to obtain further economical assistance.

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How Much Is The Household Benefits Package in 2022?

You can obtain a free tv license renewal valued at €160.

You can also receive up to €35 credit per month towards your electricity OR gas bill. It works out to €1.15 per day and will appear on your utility bill as -€1.15068493.

Here is how you can receive payment for these household bills. They are:

  1. Electricity allowance
  2. Electricity allowance under your landlord
  3. Gas allowance
  4. TV licence allowance

We examine in further detail the process for each option below.

How Do I Receive the Electricity Allowance?

Electricity bill

If you’re with Electric Ireland or Bord Gáis you have the option of having your household benefits allowance paid directly to these suppliers as a monthly credit against your utility bill.

If you’re with any other energy provider, the household benefits allowance will be deposited into your bank or post office account which you provide details for on your application form. Users with a Pay-as-you-go meter can only receive payments with this option.

What If The Electricity Bill Is In The Landlord's Name?

If you’re living in a flat or an apartment you share with your landlord, you can still qualify for the electricity allowance. However, your landlord will have to confirm in writing that you are paying your electricity bills as a tenant of the shared property.

Pay it forward! If you don't use all of your monthly electricity allowance, you can carry the unused portion forward towards future bills. A useful feature we strongly recommend you take full advantage of and try to keep your summer usage to a minimum to pay for the higher winter bills due to home heating.

How Do I Receive the Gas Allowance?

A gas flame

Should you prefer to use your household benefits package towards your gas bill, it works the same as with the electricity allowance. You can choose to have your gas allowance either be put into your bank account directly each month, or paid as a monthly credit against your Bord Gáis Energy or Electric Ireland gas bill.

Again here, if you are renting a property, your landlord will need to provide written confirmation that you are paying the gas bill.

It is important to note that the gas allowance under the household benefits package only applies to natural gas. Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Heating Oil (kerosene) delivery do not qualify as eligible bills under this scheme.

How Do I Receive The TV licence Allowance?

If you qualify for the household benefits package and would like to apply for the free TV license, you can apply using the same household benefits package form which is used for the gas or electricity allowance (just make sure to tick the TV licence box).

You will then be eligible for a free TV licence from the date of your next renewal and An Post will be contacted and informed of this by the Department of Welfare.

If your circumstances change and you are no longer entitled to the Household Benefits Package, you will lose your right to a free license and will need to start paying for one again at the next date of renewal.

Who Is Entitled To The Household Benefits Package?

There are different categories under which people can qualify for the Household Benefits package (for permanent and legal residents only).

To know how to qualify for the household benefits package, we have divided the eligibility criteria into three categories. In all three cases, applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Must reside in Ireland full-time.
  • Only one person in the household can receive the Household Benefits Package at any given moment.
  • For the gas and electricity allowance, the bills must be in your name.
  • Anyone over the age of 70.
  • No other requirements are necessary.
  • For citizens between the ages of 66-70.
  • If you are getting the Carer’s Allowance and living full-time with the person you are caring for.
  • If upon retirement you receive a state pension, a widow’s/widower’s/surviving civil partner’s pension, a deserted wife’s benefit/allowance, a garda widow’s pension.
  • If you receive the equivalent of the above from another EU state or a country with whom Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement with.
  • If you satisfy the household benefits package means test.
  • If you are under 66 years of age.
  • Receive a disability living allowance.
  • Have an invalidity pension.
  • Get the blind pension.
  • Collect incapacity supplement (for at least 12 months) with disablement pension.
  • Receive the equivalent of the above from another EU state or a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement.
  • If you are looking after a person in receipt of a constant attendance allowance.
  • With Carer’s Allowance and living with the person you care for.

Household Benefits Package Means TestIf your weekly means are less than or equal to your weekly income, then you qualify for the means test. Your weekly means are based on the maximum rate of the contributory state pension (inclusive of extra allowance for age, dependants, and living alone) and your weekly income is based on the maximum rate of the contributory state pension plus €100.

How To Apply For The Household Benefits Package?

Two application forms in yellow and blue

To fill out the Household benefits package form you'll need to hand in the following details:

  • Your contact and address details.
  • Your PPS number and the numbers of anyone else who lives with you.
  • A copy of your GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau) card, where applicable.
  • Your MPRN/GPRN numbers (these are your electricity or gas meter numbers).
  • Your television licence number.
  • Details of the financial institution (BIC and IBAN), or post office of your choosing.

To apply for the Household Benefits Package, first print the HB1 form, fill it out and return it signed to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

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Household Benefits Package FAQs

What To Do When Switching Energy Suppliers?

If you change energy suppliers and you are receiving the household benefits package, it’s important to let the department of welfare know of the change as soon as possible. You will have to provide them with proof of your new supplier (e.g. with a bill dating from the time you changed supplier) to not miss out on any payments.

At the moment only customers with Bord Gáis Energy and Electric Ireland can have their allowance applied directly to their bill. Claimants who switch to any other provider will need to contact the department of welfare as soon as possible to provide them with details of the account where they would like to receive the payment instead.

Make no mistake, you can still switch energy providers to get the best deal possible, and we recommend comparing every 12 months to take advantage of the best offers available and avoid defaulting to the standard (and more expensive) tariff. The table below shows the current cheapest offers from Ireland's largest suppliers.

Cheapest Duel Fuel Offer per Supplier
Supplier Best offer Price per year
Bord Gáis Energy 39% Electricity discount
39% Gas discount
€2,103.00
Electric Ireland 8.5% Dual fuel discount €2,696.00
Energia 16% Electricity discount
15% Gas discount
€2,745.07
PrePayPower Standard €3,216.38
SSE Airtricity 35% dual fuel discount €2,118.72
Compare Dual Fuel Offers Call  (01) 903 6528  Ad  Mon - Fri: 9 am - 6 pm

*Figures are for illustrative purposes only. Calculations based on average consumption figures for an urban home with a 24-hour standard meter. All discounts and cashback have been applied. Last updated: September 2022

What If I Change Address?

If you change address, your allowance will not be automatically transferred to your new accommodation, you will need to reapply to continue receiving benefits.

You'll again need to fill out the household benefits package form and post it to the Department of Welfare.

Can The Allowance Be Backdated?

A yellow and white calendar

As only one member of each household can receive the household benefits package, if the previous recipient leaves the household or passes away, but other house members qualify to receive the benefit, the qualifying person will need to reapply for the package within six months. This is the maximum amount of time the allowance can be backdated, meaning you may lose out if you wait any longer.

For example, if the household benefits allowance was in the name of your deceased spouse, and you are also entitled to receive it, then this is unfortunately another item you need to keep in mind during your time of bereavement. If you were to apply one year after the allowance ceased, you would only receive backdated payment for half the year.

For more in-depth information about rules, exceptions, and general conditions, you can check out the Household Benefits Page on the department of welfare's website.

If, after reading through this article and checking out the department of welfare's website, you still have any doubts or would prefer to discuss the scheme with someone in person, you can visit any citizen’s information centre, Intreo centre, or Social Welfare Branch Office. Alternatively, we have included on this page all the household benefits package contact numbers & information you may need for the relevant Department of Welfare section.

Household Benefits Package Contact Number & Details

Send the HB1 household benefits package form to:

Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection
(Household Benefits Package section)
Social Welfare Services
College Road
Sligo
Ireland

HBP phone numbers:

☎ (071) 915 7100
LoCall ☎ 1818 200 400
Household Benefits Package Enquiry Form

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