Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (346)

Eoghan Murphy


346. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection the criteria that must be met to be eligible for the exceptional heating payment. [12943/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, a supplement may be paid in respect of exceptional heating needs where the claimant satisfies the general conditions of entitlement to SWA. In order to qualify for a heating supplement, the applicant must live alone or with a qualified adult or child/children and must have exceptional heating needs due to ill-health or infirmity.

In addition, an exceptional needs payment (ENP) may be made to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional and unforeseen expenditure such as heating costs which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.

There is no automatic entitlement to these types of payments. Heating supplements and ENPs are payable at the discretion of the officers administering the scheme taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case in order to ensure that the payment targets those most in need of assistance.

Persons who consider that they may have an entitlement to a heating supplement or ENP under the SWA scheme should contact the local officials administering the scheme.