Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Fuel Allowance Data
619. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of applicants for fuel allowance refused as a result of being over the income threshold. [9451/19]
620. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the income amounts over the income threshold for fuel allowance of those who were refused the payment. [9452/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 619 and 620 together.
The fuel allowance is a payment of €22.50 per week for 28 weeks (a total of €630 each year) from October to April, to over 372,000 low income households, at an estimated cost of €227 million in 2018. The purpose of this payment is to assist these households with their energy costs. The allowance represents a contribution towards the energy costs of a household. It is not intended to meet those costs in full. Only one allowance is paid per household.
An applicant and members of his/her household may have a combined assessable income of up to €100.00 a week above the appropriate maximum State Pension (Contributory) rate and qualify for a payment. The following assessable income limits therefore apply -
(i)€343.30 for a single person under 80 years (€100 plus €243.30);
(ii) €505.40 for a couple, where the qualified spouse / civil partner / cohabitant is under 66 years (€100 plus €243.30 plus €162.10);
(iii) €561.30 for a couple, where the qualified spouse / civil partner / cohabitant is 66 years or over (€100 plus €243.30 plus €218);
The maximum disregard available for any household is €561.30.
In the case of applicants over 80 years of age, an extra allowance of €10.00 may be applied to the appropriate Social Welfare rate.
The number of applicants for fuel allowance refused as a result of being over the income threshold is not readily available to my Department. Neither does my Department maintain records of the amount that such applicants were over the income threshold. It is worth noting that many people above the income threshold do not make an application.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.