Image: Minister Doherty introduces new Telephone Support Allowance
Pictured are Anne Russell, Skerries, Employment Affairs & Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, T.D., Winnie O'Doherty, Churchtown. Picture by Shane O'Neill, SON Photographic
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., is delighted to introduce a new payment, the Telephone Support Allowance, which will come into effect from 4th June 2018. The Allowance is a support payment of €2.50 per week aimed at people who live alone and receive certain other payments from the Department.
Individuals who qualify for the new payment will be pensioners and those in most need of assistance. All eligible customers will receive their first Telephone Support Allowance payment by Friday, 8th June, with some customers receiving their payment as early as Wednesday 6th June.
Announcing the new payment, Minister Doherty said:
“We know how important it is to stay connected to family, friends and neighbours, especially as we get older. With this new Telephone Support Allowance I hope that we can help prevent social isolation among more vulnerable members of society.”
The payment was provided for in Budget 2018 and is intended to assist with the cost of communications and home alert solutions. Worth €130 per year, it is aimed at encouraging social contact and preventing isolation for those who live alone.
The Department has written to all customers who qualify for the Telephone Support Allowance (about 126,000 people) to let them know that they will be receiving it shortly. There is no application process for the payment and no need to contact the Department to apply. All eligible customers will receive it automatically as an additional sum on top of their primary weekly payment.
People who are eligible for the Telephone Support Allowance are those who are in receipt of one of the schemes listed below, in addition to both the Living Alone Allowance and Fuel Allowance.
State Pension (Contributory and Non-Contributory)
Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension
Disablement Pension (Incapacity Supplement)
Deserted Wife’s Benefit
Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension under the Occupational Injuries Scheme