Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has confirmed that the 331,000 recipients of the Fuel Allowance will this week receive a double payment.
The current standard payment is €22.50 per week. This week it will be doubled to €45.
Speaking to RTÉ, the Minister says: “Everybody gets paid their particular scheme on a different day so some people mightn’t get their payments until next week some people mightn’t get their payments until the week after but to be absolutely sure, [we] guarantee anyone that currently receives Fuel Allowance will get a double payment in the next couple of weeks.”
— Martina Fitzgerald (@MartinaFitzg) February 28, 2018
This follows a statement from Minister for the Elderly Jim Daly, who yesterday urged pensioners ” to take care and light the fire up early during the current big freeze.”
“The uniquely cold weather conditions over the coming days mean the elderly should not stint on fuel use.
“Shivering behind a single electric bar will be penny wise and pound foolish,” he said.
“When it comes to weather such as this thrift is not an option. Pensioners who live at home should keep the heat going for twenty-four hours. They should feel free to use that extra bucket of coal or bale of briquets. Put your health and safety first.
“A warm fire or a hot radiator is a basic entitlement. Extra spending on fuel is covered by many schemes. If money is a problem, you can take advantage of current welfare schemes.”
In particular, he cited the ‘Urgent Needs Supplementary Payment’ and the Exceptional Needs Payment, a single payment to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.
“Exceptional Needs can cover help with fuel bills, you may get help with the cost of your electricity or natural gas bill but only in exceptional circumstances. The current weather conditions are exceptional. They meet those criteria.”
“If the elderly are uncertain they can call the senior line telephone service on 1800 804591 or Citizens Information on 0761 074000 which will inform them of their rights,” he added.
Minister Daly also asked for people to keep an eye on their elderly neighbours and to make sure that they have enough essentials such as bread and milk, and that they have plenty of turf/coal/oil etc. to keep their houses nice and cosy throughout the cold snap.
“I am urging people to make sure to visit any elderly folk they know and make sure their neighbours know, in weather such as this, that pensioners are aware they can get their fuel now and pay later,” he concluded.