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Delay in fuel allowance payments 03.01.18

PENSIONERS in line for a fuel allowance lump sum of almost €300 this week are experiencing delays due to a problem with payments.
The Department of Social Protection today said the delay is currently being investigated.
Among those affected are contributory and non-contributory pensioners; invalidity and widowed pensioners as well as people in receipt of the disability allowance and national fuel scheme. Those who get their fuel allowance weekly are not affected.
The delay comes as Storm Eleanor ravaged the country and as temperatures are set to fall in the coming days.
"There is a problem with some payments of the fuel allowance lump sum due for payment this week. This is currently being investigated. Arrangements will be made to pay customers impacted by this issue as soon as possible,” the department said in a statement.
The annual fuel allowance scheme sees €22.50 added to the payments of long-term welfare recipients for 26 weeks between October and early April.
For the 2017/2018 winter season recipients could, for the first time, opt to get the allowance in two lump sums of €292.50. The first payment was paid in October with the second due this week. The lump sums are designed to help people who rely on bulk buy fuel such as those using home heating oil.
The weather outlook from Met Eireann for the weekend is for temperatures “to remain bitterly cold with widespread severe frosts and the risk of icy stretches”.
Meanwhile, householders are urged to contact their energy supplier as soon as possible if they run into difficulties paying their heating bills this season.
The department said suppliers are required to offer people a payment plan if they are genuinely struggling to pay their bills.
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