Local Fine Gael councillor Tom Farrell has encouraged older people in Westmeath to apply for the Fuel Allowance this autumn, as the new fuel allowance season gets underway in advance of the winter.
The Fuel Allowance scheme is designed to assist pensioners and other very low income households to meet the cost of their heating needs during the winter season.
It is means tested and is paid to the customer with their social welfare payment at a rate of €22.50 per week. People on an employment scheme or in receipt of a Back to Education Allowance are also be entitled to the Fuel Allowance if they continue to satisfy the conditions, including the means test.
In order to qualify the claimant must be resident in the State and in receipt of certain qualifying payments.
A claimant must also live alone or only with: a qualified spouse/civil partner/cohabitant or qualified child(ren ); a person in receipt of a qualifying payment who would be entitled to the allowance in their own right; a person who is in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit in respect of providing full-time care and attention to the Fuel Allowance applicant or their qualified spouse/civil partner/cohabitant or qualified child(ren ); a person receiving short-term Jobseeker’s Allowance or the Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (less than 391 days ).
“As your councillor, I am working hard to ensure that people who need it most can benefit from the recovery in our economy,” Cllr Farrell said. “All those who qualify for the Fuel Allowance should apply for it now. Fairness will be the focus of the upcoming Budget and we will continue to reducing high levels of taxation on modest incomes and phase out the USC. Our top priority is to protect the economy and create more jobs, which in turn will fund better public services for hard-pressed families.”
People can fill in the form in their local Post Office or find it online at www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Fuel-Allowance aspx.