Table of contents
– *All information from CitizensInformation.ie
Household Benefits Package
The Household Benefits Package is a package of allowances which help you with the costs of running your household. The package is available to everyone aged over 70 and to people under age 70 in certain circumstances. You must be living permanently in the State (this means full-time and all year round) and you must register for the Public Services Card when requested to do so by the Department of Social Protection.
Only one person in a household can qualify for the package at any time. You must show that you are the registered consumer at the address for which you are applying for the Household Benefits, for example, by providing a utility bill. If you are renting your home, your landlord must provide written confirmation that you are a tenant (including the MPRN or GPRN of the address you are living at) and confirm that you are paying your own energy bills.
There are 2 allowances in the Household Benefits Package:
- The Electricity Allowance or
- Natural Gas Allowance or
- Cash Electricity Allowance or
- Cash Gas Allowance
- The Free Television Licence
The Telephone Allowance was discontinued from 1 January 2014.
- Read more about the two allowances on Citizens Information.
Rules to qualify
You qualify for the Household Benefits Package if you are aged 70 or over. You do not need to be getting a pension and the package is not means tested. You also qualify if you are getting Carer’s Allowance (if you are a full-time carer and living with the person you are caring for). Everyone getting the Household Benefits package must also meet general conditions (See ‘General conditions for the Household Benefits Package’ below).
You can also qualify for the Household Benefits Package if you meet one of the following conditions and live alone or only with excepted people (see ‘Excepted people’ below):
1. You are between 66 and 70 and are getting:
- State Pension (Contributory)
- State Pension (Non-Contributory)
- Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension
- Deserted Wife’s Benefit or Allowance
- An ordinary Garda Widow’s Pension from the Department of Justice and Equality or
- An equivalent Social Security Pension/Benefit from a country covered by EU Regulations or from a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement
2. You are under 66 and are getting:
- Disability Allowance
- Invalidity Pension
- Blind Pension
- Incapacity Supplement or Workmen’s Compensation with Disablement Pension (for at least 12 months)
- An equivalent Social Security Pension/Benefit from a country covered by EU Regulations, or from a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement
3. You are caring for a person who is getting Constant Attendance Allowance
4. You are aged between 66 and 70 and satisfy a means test (see ‘The means test’ below).
Excepted people are:
- A qualified adult (your spouse/civil partner/cohabitant is a qualified adult if you are getting an increase for a qualified adult with your payment or you would get an increase but for the fact that they are getting a social welfare payment in their own right)
- Dependent child(ren) under the age of 18 or under the age of 22 if in full-time education (a certificate from the school or college must be supplied for those aged 18 or over)
- A person who is so incapacitated as to require constant care and attention for at least 12 months (medical certification may be required)
- A person(s) who would qualify for the allowance in his/her own right (for example, a person getting an State Pension)
- A person who is providing you or someone in your household with constant care and attention if you or that person is so incapacitated as to require constant care and attention for at least 12 months (medical certification may be required). People in employment for more than 15 hours per week or people getting Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance cannot be accepted as providing constant full-time care and attention.
General conditions for the Household Benefits Package
- You must be permanently living in the State. This means on a full time, all- year round basis. The allowances do not apply if you live in a nursing or retirement home where the accommodation is not fully self-contained.
- You must be the only person in your household who gets the allowances.
- You must be the registered consumer of electricity or gas if you are applying for an Electricity/Natural Gas Allowance.
- You must register for the Public Services Card when requested to do so.
– To see more details of rules and Household Benefit Package rates, visit Citizens Information now.
How to apply
Return your completed application form to the Household Benefits Package section:
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services
Opening Hours:This office does not offer a service to personal callers. All queries must be made using the online enquiry form, by telephone or in writing.
Tel:(071) 915 7100
Locall:1890 500 000
You can email the Household Benefits Package section using the secure enquiry form. If you wish to talk to someone face-to-face about your entitlements, you can visit your local Citizens Information centre, social welfare local office or Intreo centre.
- For further details, visit Citizens Information today: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/extra_social_welfare_benefits/household_benefits_package.html
*“Contains Irish Public Sector Data licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence”.