According to Martina Cronin, Development Manager with Citizens Information Services in Co. Wicklow, ‘queries in relation to imminent fuel poverty concerns are now being responded to by our staff who can advise our clients of State supports to alleviate such costs’. As people are now facing into the winter months with the much expected higher energy expenses, information about the supports that are available can be obtained in your local Citizens Information Centre (CIC).
‘For anyone needing impartial, confidential, non-judgemental and informed advice and support, the Citizens Information Service (CIS) is here to assist you to apply for Fuel Allowance which is a payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months’ says Martina. ‘Qualifying conditions have changed for the fuel allowance this year for certain groups. Are you one of the people who may benefit?’ she asks. ‘We can provide you with up-to-date information on this scheme and assist you with filling in the form if needed’.
Applications are now being accepted and it is advised to apply for this payment as soon as possible to get your full entitlement. The rate of payment is €33 per week or it can be paid to you in 2 lump sums. The Fuel Allowance is paid from the end of September to April each year for 28 weeks. You do not need to reapply for the Fuel Allowance each year as long as your circumstances remain the same and you continue to get the same social welfare payment.
Michelle O’Hara, National Spokesperson for MABS says that ‘This is a perfect time to review your household budget, MABS Money Advisers are here to help you if you need it’. MABS, the State funded Money Advice & Budgeting Service offers a free and confidential service for those seeking guidance and support with money management and debt.
Martina says that the Citizens Information Service is here for anyone needing their help. She highlights how this service is ‘free and confidential’ and that they are available for drop-ins, appointments or by telephone. ‘I am pleased to say that we can speak to all of our clients without much delay’. The CIS website, www.citizensinformation.ie, is packed full of helpful information. Martina concludes ‘To find out our opening hours or if you would like us to address a specific query or to book an appointment with a member of our team please contact your local Citizens Information Centre in Bray CIC on 0818 07 6780 or Arklow CIC on 0818 07 6750. We are available from Monday to Friday’.