The first weekly fuel allowance payments for 2021/2022 will be issued from this week.

The means-tested payment will be issued to an estimated 370,000 households over a 28-week period.

Recipients are paid a weekly rate of €28 or two lump sum payments of €392 each.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys has said she is conscious of households seeing their bills increase and return to 2019 levels.

She has said it will be an important factor for her as minister as she continues the Budget 2022 negotiations with her Government colleagues.

Those who were paid the fuel allowance last year will automatically be paid again this year as long they remain entitled.

Anyone newly eligible for the payment should "submit an application immediately", which can be found on the department’s website.

A budget of €292 million has been set aside for the upcoming season by the department for the scheme.