Fuel Allowance is a means tested payment to assist pensioners and other long-term social welfare dependent householders with their winter heating costs. The payment is a contribution towards heating costs, it is not intended to meet these costs in full. The payment is made at the weekly rate of €28.00; or if preferred, by way of two lump sum payments; and is paid over the winter season (28 weeks in the 2020/2021 fuel allowance season). Only one Fuel Allowance is payable per household.
Fuel Allowance applications are processed by the customer's primary scheme payment area, across a number of different (IT) platforms. For this reason, the average waiting time for a decision on a Fuel Allowance application can vary. Decision waiting times can also fluctuate based on the level of applications received, for example during or outside of the winter fuel allowance season. Additionally, where further information is requested before a decision on eligibility can be made (generally relating to means or household composition), delays in the provision of the required information can occur. While is not possible to provide an average timeframe for a Fuel Allowance decision, given the variables set out, my Department is currently unaware of any area experiencing any delays in processing of Fuel Allowance applications for customers.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.