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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Fuel Allowance

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What is the Fuel Allowance?

A Fuel Allowance is a payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months. You can get the Fuel Allowance, if you are getting a long-term Social Welfare payment and you are unable to provide for your heating needs from your own resources. Only one Fuel Allowance is paid to a household. Fuel Allowance is generally paid with your Social Welfare payment on the same day. You can choose to get Fuel Allowance paid weekly or paid in two lump sums. The lump sum option is not available to people getting payments under the Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Gateway, Community Employment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

Budget 2022

People getting Jobseekers Allowance or Supplementary Welfare Allowance may qualify for Fuel Allowance after 12 months (down from 15 months), if all other qualifying conditions are met (September 2022).

How to qualify for Fuel Allowance

To get the 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
* State Pension (Contributory)
* Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
* Incapacity Supplement under the Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme
* Invalidity Pension
* Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
* Death Benefit under the Occupational Injuries Scheme
* 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)
* Qualifying Social Assistance Payments
* State Pension (Non-Contributory)
* Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
* Disability Allowance
* Blind Pension
* Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance
* One-Parent Family Payment (OFP)
* Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
* Farm Assist
* Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance for more than 455 days (over 15 months - it is paid on a seven-day week basis so 15 months’ payment is reached after day 455) and Jobseeker's Allowance for more than 390 days (over 15 months - it is paid on a six-day week basis so 15 months’ payment is reached after day 390).
* Jobseeker's Transitional payment (JST)

If you are taking part in certain schemes - Back to Work Allowance, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA), Rural Social Scheme, Tús or Community Employment you are entitled to keep your secondary benefits.

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 and other members of your household are unable to provide for your heating needs from your own resources

Some of the reasons you may not get a 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
* 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 where the Department of Social Protection (DSP) examines all your sources of income. 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 the 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. If you are over 80, add an extra €10 to the appropriate DSP payment rate.

Rate of Fuel Allowance

If you choose to receive the payment on a weekly basis, the Fuel Allowance is paid from the end of September to April each year for 28 weeks at a rate of €33 per week. The total Fuel Allowance payment over 28 weeks is €924. Alternatively you can choose for it to be paid to you in two lump sums, in September and January. To get your Fuel Allowance paid in two lump sums, fill in the Change the Payment Frequency form at least one month before the first lump sum is due.

How to apply for Fuel Allowance

Applying for the first time you need to fill in application form NFS 1 which you can get from your local CIC or have it posted out to you. Be aware that if you apply for the Fuel Allowance after the start of the Fuel Allowance season, it will not be backdated. You do not need to reapply for the Fuel Allowance each year as long as your circumstances remain the same and you continue to get the same Social Welfare payment.

The Fuel Allowance will be 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.

If more than one person in a household qualifies

Only one Fuel Allowance payment is paid to a household. If two 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 everyone in the household is getting a social assistance payment, they can decide who applies for Fuel Allowance. If one household member is on a social insurance payment then they should apply in the first instance.

Where to apply for Fuel Allowance

This depends on what Social Welfare payment you are getting. You should complete and return the form to the section that pays your main Social Welfare payment. If unsure, please contact your local CIC for assistance.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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Artists invited to showcase work at Wine and Art night

It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November. The pandemic enforced its absence and now […]

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It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November.

The pandemic enforced its absence and now every effort is being made to make up for lost time.

Widely regarded as one of the social highlights of the year in Killarney, this year’s gathering will take place in the Great Southern Killarney on Wednesday, November 30, commencing at 7.15pm.

Tickets, which will be available at the door, are priced at €20 and all proceeds raised on the night will go to deserving local charities and community organisations.

Over the years the evening of wine and art has raised tens of thousands of Euro for great causes and the 2022 proceeds will be of enormous benefit to the chosen groups.

This year, once again, the event is being held in association with Daly’s SuperValu and supported by Killarney Brewing and Distilling Company.

Rotary Club President, Rayla Tadjimatova, has appealed to all artists who might like to showcase their work on the night to get in touch with club members, as soon as possible, to guarantee inclusion.

“We are reaching out not only to artists who have supported the event in the past but to any new artists who wish to take the opportunity to place their work in front of a very appreciative local audience of up to one thousand people on the night,” she said.

Those interested should email killarneyrotaryclub@gmail.com as soon as possible.

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Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager.

Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3).

He is described as being approximately 6ft in height, of a slim build with brown hair and green eyes. When last seen Nicolas was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black hoody top. He was also carrying a black bag.

Anyone with information on Nicolas’ whereabouts is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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