Louth Fuel Allowance recipients can now opt for lump sum payment
People who receive the annual winter Fuel Allowance, will now have the option to receive the payment in two lump sum payments this year.
The announcement was made by Employment and Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty last week.
Up until now, the Fuel Allowance has been paid on a weekly basis between October and April. The rate of payment is €22.50 per week which amounts to €585 per fuel allowance season.
Fuel Allowance is a means assessed payment to assist householders receiving long-term social welfare payments unable to provide for their own heating needs.
Making the announcement, Minister Doherty said,
'I am pleased to announce that from October when the new Fuel Season begins, our customers who receive the Fuel Allowance will have the option to receive their payment in two lump sums – one at the start of the fuel season in October and the second in January.
'The value of the lump sums will be €292.50 each.'
The decision to allow offer the lump sum payments was welcomed by ALONE, the the organisation that supports older people to age at home
CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan has said:
'ALONE is pleased to hear this announcement from Minister Doherty and hope it can make a real difference in the lives of older people around the country.
'It is a harsh reality that anyone in Ireland might have to choose between paying to heat their home or pay for other essentials such as food, transport and clothing.'
'We believe this move to two lump sums will greatly assist older people in buying fuel and heating their home, something which had become an urgent issue for so many.
'We would also call on the Department to annually review the full Fuel Allowance payment to ensure that it is in line with fuel price increases.'