Pensions & Social Welfare

Changes for 2021 have targeted areas of difficulty, living alone and the Fuel Allowance while the proposed increase in the pension age to 67 has been deferred.
  • The basic weekly Social Welfare Rates in 2021 are:
  • A 100% Christmas Bonus will be paid in December 2021 to all persons on long-term (over 15 months) Welfare payments and back-to-work/Education payments and to anyone out of work for at least 4 months if on Jobseekers or PUP.
  • Treatment Benefit covers the insured and their spouse for free dental examination and €42 towards a scale and polish or necessary gum treatment every year, and free optical examination and free glasses (or a contribution to an upgrade) every two years and up to €500 towards new hearing aids, once every 4 years (and €100 towards repairs).
  • Household Benefits Package: If you are 66 or over or permanently incapacitated, and living alone except for dependants, a spouse on Social Welfare, another pensioner, or someone giving you full-time care, and any one other adult, you can receive the following concessions along with your Irish or British Social Welfare Pension:

Electricity or Natural Gas of €35 per month, and Free television licence.

– Pensioners who don’t have a Social Welfare pension can qualify at age 66 on the same terms provided their means don’t exceed the Contributory OAP rate by more than €100.

– If you are aged 70 or over, you can qualify for all of these free schemes regardless of your income or its source and regardless of who lives with you. If you are widowed and aged 60 or over, you can retain the free schemes and free travel if your late spouse had them, and you satisfy the other conditions.

  • Fuel Allowance: A Fuel Allowance of €28.00/week from Jan 2021 is payable for 28 weeks if you are on long-term Social Welfare with no more than €100 per week in household income over the contributory pension rate. However, to qualify, you must be living alone, or only with dependants or another person on long-term Social Welfare or the JSA.
  • Telephone Allowance: Persons who are receiving the Living Alone Allowance, and fulfill the same conditions as Fuel Allowance, get a Telephone Allowance of €2.50 per week.
  • Exceptional Needs: The Community Welfare Officer may help with unforeseen needs (e.g. hospitalisation, funeral etc.) or with unaffordable essential needs (e.g. pregnancy, equipment beyond repair) of people on low income. Such decisions can be appealed.

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