Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions (57)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

57. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if there has been an increase in applications for the fuel allowance and the household benefits package to date in 2019; the number of recipients of both payments in 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of applications refused in each year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50171/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

At the end of October 2019 there were 452,317 recipients of the Household Benefits package.  According to the latest figures available to my Department, there has been an increase of almost 3,400 applications for the Household Benefits package in the period from January to October 2019.  This represents an increase of around nine percent (9%) on the number of applications received during the same period in 2018. 

During the period from January to December 2018, 69,700 applications for the Household Benefits package were received, of which seventy seven percent (77%), or 53,600, were awarded.  Approximately twenty three percent (23%), or 16,000 applications were disallowed.  During the period from January to October 2019, 60,800 applications were received, of which almost 46,500, or seventy six point five per cent (76.5%) were awarded, with 14,300 applications disallowed.  

As at end October 2019, around 368,500 people were in receipt of Fuel Allowance.  This represents a slight reduction of around one percent (1%) on the number of recipients at the end of October 2018 - which was 372,300.  At the end of December 2018, there were almost 380,500 Fuel Allowance recipients.  Due to the payment of fuel allowance across different IT platforms, accurate numbers of disallowed fuel allowance claims is not readily available to my Department.  However, based on the information available, approximately 22, 000 Fuel Allowance claims were disallowed in 2018, with approximately 18,000 disallowed in 2019 to date.

The number of recipients of both Household Benefits and the Fuel Allowance at the end of October 2019 is 201,615, increased from the figure of 200,512 at the end of 2018.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.