Know your rights: Fuel Allowance

I’m getting a State pension. Can I get help with my heating costs?

You may qualify for a Fuel Allowance. This is paid to people on long-term social welfare payments who are unable to pay for their own heating needs. If you are getting a State pension you may qualify for the allowance as long as you live alone or only with:

  • A dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and/or dependent children
  • Other people getting one of the qualifying payments who would also be eligible for a Fuel Allowance in their own right
  • A person who is getting Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Benefit and is caring for you or for your dependent spouse, partner or cohabitant on a full-time basis
  • A person getting COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), short-term Jobseeker’s Allowance or basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance

You also need to satisfy a means test. A means test examines your income to establish your means. If you are on a State Pension (Non-Contributory) you automatically satisfy the means test. If you are getting the State Pension (Contributory) you satisfy the means test if you have means of €100 or less per week.

If two or more people living in the same household qualify for the allowance, only one allowance is paid. If your heating needs are met in other ways (for example, if you live in local authority housing where heating is provided) you do not qualify for Fuel Allowance. The Fuel Allowance season usually runs from October to April each year for 28 weeks. You can choose to get the allowance paid weekly, €24.50 per week or in 2 lump sums of €343 – one paid at the start of the season and the second, in January.

If you think you are eligible, you should apply immediately. The allowance is not backdated. You can get an application form for Fuel Allowance (NFS1) from your post office or Intreo centre.   You can read more about the Fuel Allowance on the citizensinformation.ie website.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in theFind a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.