I’m in my 70s and live alone. Is it there any support available to help me with my household running costs?
Answer (May 2018)
The Household Benefits Package may help with the costs of running your household. The package is available to everyone aged over 70 and to some people under 70. It is paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP).
The package includes an electricity or gas allowance and a Free Television Licence. The electricity or gas allowance pays €35 per month (€1.15 per day) towards the cost of either your electricity or gas supply (you cannot get an allowance for both). It is paid to your bank or post office account or as a credit on your bill. You can get the Free Television Licence from the next renewal date of your licence after you qualify for the package.
Only one person in a household can qualify for the package. You must be living in the State all year round, and you will need to show that you are the registered gas or electricity consumer, for example, by providing a utility bill.
People aged between 66 and 70 may also qualify if they are getting a qualifying payment, such as the State Pension. If they are not getting a qualifying payment, they must satisfy a means test. You qualify if you are getting Carer’s Allowance and providing full-time care to a person you are living with. You may also qualify if you are getting certain social welfare payments and living alone or living with certain people, for example, a qualified adult or child or with someone who would qualify for the allowance in their own right.
To apply, use form HB1 (pdf) from welfare.ie. The form is also available from your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office or from your nearest Citizens Information Service.