The allowance is available to everyone aged over 70 and to people under 70 in certain circumstances. The payment isn't means tested and you don't need to be receiving a State pension in order to get it.
You must be living in Ireland legally and permanently and be the only person in your household who is receiving the allowance.
Individuals between 66 and 70 who are getting a State, Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension can also get the €35 monthly allowance. If you are under 66 and are on Disability Allowance or are getting an Invalidity or Blind Pension, you can also qualify.
However in both of these cases you must be living alone or only with 'excepted people'.
If you’re not living alone, but are only living with ‘excepted people’ i.e. someone who earns less than €310 a week, dependent children under 18 or an incapacitated person in need of care for more than a year, you can also get the Free Electricity Allowance.
The Households Benefits Package page of Citizen Information's website details all qualifying criteria.
If you meet the criteria for the Free Electricity Allowance but are renting a property, your landlord must confirm in writing that you are indeed a tenant and are paying the electricity bills. She/he must also provide the MPRN of the address at which you’re living.
Electric Ireland automatically deducts the €35 Free Electricity Allowance from its customers’ monthly bills. Handy!
If you’re not an Electric Ireland customer, you can either opt to receive your €35 into your bank account on the first Tuesday of every month or to collect the sum from your local Post Office. If you go with the latter, you have 56 days to collect your allowance. Don't put it off!
If you switch suppliers at any stage, your allowance will carry forward automatically. However, you’ll need to re-apply if you move house.
If you qualify for the Free Electricity Allowance, just fill out HB1 form to apply.
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