Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty has introduced a new payment, the Telephone Support Allowance, which came into effect from the start of 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 received their first Telephone Support Allowance payment on Friday, 8th June, with some customers receiving their payment as early as Wednesday 6th June.
Local Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’ Shea 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”.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A new payment, the Telephone Support Allowance (TSA), was announced during Budget 2018 and comes into effect the week commencing 4 June 2018.
Those eligible to receive this payment, which is worth €2.50 a week, will receive a letter from the Department before 4 June to confirm that they qualify for it. TSA will be paid automatically to all eligible customers and there is no application form and no need to contact the Department to apply.
For further information on TSA, please see the FAQs below. These include details of eligibility requirements, rates, and how you will receive the TSA payment if you qualify.
1. What is the Telephone Support Allowance?
TSA is a payment for people who live alone and are already in receipt of certain other payments from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. It is intended to assist with the cost of communications and/or home security solutions.
2. How do I apply for TSA?
TSA will be paid automatically to customers of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection who are in receipt of one of the qualifying payments listed below and both the Living Alone Allowance and the Fuel Allowance. There is no application form.
· State Pension (Contributory and Non-Contributory)
· Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension
· Invalidity Pension
· Disability Allowance
· Blind 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.
If you believe you should qualify for TSA, but are not receiving it after 4 June 2018, you can make contact with the Department. Contact details are given under question 9 below.
3. What is the Telephone Support Allowance rate?
TSA is an extra €2.50 per week, in addition to your primary payment, Living Alone and Fuel Allowances. It is equivalent to €130 annually.
4. When is the TSA payable from and how will it be paid?
TSA was announced in Budget 2018 and comes into effect the week commencing 4 June 2018. The first payment will be made that week on the same payment day as your primary payment and will be paid as an additional sum on top of your primary payment.
5. Where can I collect my payment?
Payments will be available by the same method as your weekly primary payment.
6. Is there a means test for TSA?
No, but you will already have satisfied a means test in order to qualify for Fuel Allowance (as well as some of the qualifying schemes).
7. What happens if my Fuel Allowance or Living Alone Allowance stops?
If you are no longer eligible to receive either Living Alone Allowance or Fuel Allowance then TSA will also stop.
8. I am in receipt of a UK fuel allowance; do I qualify for the TSA?
No, you must be in receipt of both Living Alone Allowance and Fuel Allowance from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
9. Whom do I contact for further information?
You will need to contact the DEASP section that pays your main pension or benefit if you have a question with regard to Telephone Support Allowance. The contact details for the qualifying schemes are listed below.
Longford – Disability Allowance/Invalidity Pension/Disablement Pension (Incapacity Supplement)/Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension under the Occupational Injuries Scheme:
Tel: (043) 334 0000
Locall: 1890 927 770*
Sligo – State Pension (Contributory/Non-Contributory) / Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension / Blind Pension / Deserted Wife’s Benefit:
Tel: (071) 915 7100
Locall: 1890 500 000*
* The rates charged for the use of 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers and cost significantly more from mobiles.