Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West and Chair of the Social Protection Committee John Curran is urging older people to ensure that they get their applications for the Winter Fuel Allowance in to the Department of Social Protection on time if they want to avail of new lump sum payments.  The deadline for this year is the 15th September. People now have the option of applying for a lump sum instead of the regular weekly payment.

“As part of changes to the scheme, following lobbying by a variety of older people’s organisations, the Department of Social Protection has agreed to the option of paying the Winter Fuel Allowance in two lump sums – €292.50 in October and the remaining €292.50 in January – or to continue to receive the weekly payments of €22.50”, explained Deputy Curran. “This is a very positive development as it will allow people to buy larger quantities of fuel and avail of the discounts associated with bulk buying.  Equally, it will allow people with oil heating to fill their tanks ahead of the winter cold spell, without having to worrying about paying such a large bill.

“We need to remember that pensioners have fixed incomes and it can be very difficult to pull together two or three hundred euros to pay for a delivery of oil. “I am calling on people in Clondalkin, Lucan and Palmerstown to ensure that if they want to receive the lump sum payments they ensure that they have their applications filled out and sent to the Department of Social Protection by the 15th September so that their payments can be logged and paid on time”.