A total of 5,977 households across Laois received fuel allowance payments through the National Fuel Scheme last winter.
According to Laois TD Charlie Flanagan, these households will all receive the payment again automatically this year – unless their eligibility has changed.
Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, announced the start of the National Fuel Scheme for the 2021/2022 Season on Monday September 27.
The Fuel Allowance, which is a means-assessed payment, will be paid for 28 weeks to an estimated 370,000 households across the country.
Deputy Flanagan said: “I know that for the 5977 households across Laois that received the Fuel Allowance payment last year, this Scheme is key to supporting them meet their energy costs.
“Recipients are paid a weekly rate of €28, with an option also to receive two lump sum payments of €392 each.
“The scheme plays a vital role in ensuring that families across Laois have the security in knowing they will be able to pay their heating bills over the winter months.
“I know it will be especially important to people this year in the context of rising fuel costs globally, and I am encouraging my colleagues in Government to factor this into the upcoming Budget.”
According to Deputy Flanagan, the scheme is still accepting new applicants.
He said: “All those who received the Fuel Allowance last year will be automatically be paid again this year, as long as their entitlement remains.
“I would really urge anyone who is in need of this scheme and has not applied previously to submit an application immediately.
“The Fuel Allowance application form is available through local Intreo Centres, Post Offices or on the Department’s website.”