Government announces four week extension to existing Fuel Allowance Season
Published: 31 March 2020
The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty and the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, today announced that the Government would be extending the Fuel Allowance season by four weeks – from Friday 10 April to Friday 8 May – in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
Speaking today, Minister Doherty said:
“The COVID-19 emergency presents a once in a century challenge to our society and our public services and we are determined that our department does everything we can to meet emerging needs and provide comfort to as many as possible. At a time where we wish people to stay at home to stay safe, it makes perfect sense to extend the Fuel Season for existing eligible customers on a once-off basis by four weeks, to 8 May 2020, in order to ensure the most vulnerable groups are provided with additional targeted financial supports in a timely and efficient manner.”
Minister Donohoe said:
“During this time of unprecedented difficulty for our people, we must ensure that our older and more vulnerable groups are as comfortable as possible, as people adhere to government instruction in order to stay safe. It is for this reason that the Fuel Season is being extended until May. Everyone has a part to play in minimising the impact of this public health crisis. This extension will ensure those in receipt of this payment have one less thing to worry about and can remain safe and warm in their homes for the coming period.”
The Fuel Allowance payment is made to over 370,000 of the most disadvantaged households in the country including pensioners and those with disabilities, who are most at risk of fuel poverty. As a result of changes we have made over the past few years, it is currently paid at a rate of €24.50 per week for 28 weeks. The current 28 week season is due to finish on 10 April. The payment is made as an allowance paid alongside the customer’s primary welfare payment. On foot of the changes approved by Government today, the Fuel Allowance season will be extended by 4 weeks and will continue until Friday 8 May.