The fuel allowance payment is to be extended for four weeks to protect older and vulnerable people asked to cocoon during the Coronavirus lockdown.
n incorporeal Cabinet meeting is being held today to allow ministers sign off on the latest Covid-19 emergency measure.
At the meeting, ministers will be asked to extend the period of the payment beyond the April 10 cut off day. The allowance will now be available up until the second week of May.
The €24.50 per week payment can generally be claimed for 28 weeks from September to April each year.
The allowance is available to anyone in receipt of long-term welfare payments. Those on State pensions, jobseekers allowance or disability payments who are already claiming the welfare benefit will be able to avail of the extension.
The allowance is usually paid alongside the other welfare payment a person receives.
The move follows calls from the Opposition for the payment to be extended due to the global health crisis.
Fianna Fáil’s social protection spokesperson Willie O’Dea said older and vulnerable people who have been asked to cocoon were “fearful” that they would be unable to meet additional heating costs that are being incurred.
“Many older people are solely reliant on a State Pension and have no other source of income. Extending the fuel allowance would be of huge benefit and would absorb some of the additional costs currently being experienced by older people,” he added.