Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Benefits
315. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a recipient of disability allowance who is not married, a civil partner or a cohabiting with another person and is registered with an electricity or gas utility as a consumer qualifies for the household benefits package regardless of the status or income of other members of their household including their parents living in that household; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49131/21]
The household benefits package (HHB) comprises the electricity or gas allowance, and the free television licence. My Department will spend approximately €265 million this year on HHB for over 480,000 customers. The package is generally available to people living in the State aged 66 years or over who are in receipt of a social welfare type payment or who satisfy a means test.
The package is also available to some people under the age of 66 who are in receipt of certain welfare type payments. Disability Allowance is one of these qualifying payments.
Qualification for the HHB package can only be determined following the submission of an application form to my Department.
In Budget 2020, it was announced that for HHB applicants aged under 70 who are on a qualifying payment, another adult (except for the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of applicant) living in the household will no longer be a disqualifying condition for the purposes of the Household Benefits Package. Therefore, the status and income of the members of a household (except for the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of applicant) including their parents living in that household does not prevent a HHB applicant from receiving the package.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.