Household Benefits package

The Household Benefits package is a package of 2 allowances which help with the running of a household. The package is available to everyone over age 70 (and to people under age 70 in certain circumstances)though only one person in a household can qualify at any time. TheHousehold Benefits package is not linked to a State Pension and is not means tested.

There are two allowances in the Household Benefits Package:

Allowance 1: Electricity: This allowance is worth €35 per month. For customers of BordGáis Energy/ Electric Ireland the allowance can be paid directly to the energy provider to offset against the next bill. Alternatively,the allowance can be paid in cash to a bank/post office account.

or Natural Gas: This allowance is worth €35 per month. This allowance can be paid directly to the natural gas supplier to offset against the next bill. Alternatively,the allowance can be paid in cash to a bank/post office account.

Allowance 2: Free Television Allowance: Application forms for theHousehold Benefits Package [FORM HB 1] are available from a local Intreo Centre/social welfare office or can be downloaded from www.welfare.ie You must indicate on the form whether you are applying for Electricity or Gas and whether you are opting for payment to the supplier or a transfer to your bank/post office account. The same application form also includes the application for the free TV licence. Completed application forms must be returned to Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

Note: This article summarises the key features of the scheme and the Department of Social Welfare website should be consulted for full details.

Living Alone Allowance: The living alone allowance is an extra payment for people aged 66 or over in receipt of a social welfare payment (such as State Pension/Widow’s/ Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s [Contributory] Pension) who are living alone. This allowance will add an additional €9 to the main pension payment. Application forms for the Living Alone Increase [FORM LA 1] are available from a local Intreo Centre/social welfare office or can be downloaded from www.welfare.ie