This may reduce your electricity or gas bills by €35 per month and includes a free TV licence.

If you receive Carer’s Allowance, you are automatically entitled to the Household Benefits Package so you don’t need to read any further as you can only claim one per household. Please read on if your child is in receipt of Disability Allowance because your child may now be able to claim this Allowance.

Previously people under the age of 66 were unable to claim this Allowance if they were living with their parents because the family would be over the means-tested limit. But the legislation has recently changed, and a number of my families have now successfully applied for the Household Benefits Package for their child living at home.

My recommendation for parents is to complete the form on behalf of their child. If your child is unable to sign the form, then place a mark on the signature part and write a covering letter to explain. You should also add your child’s names to your utility bill.

If your energy supplier is Electric Ireland for electricity or Bord Gáis or Flo Gas for gas, the Allowance can be paid directly to your energy supplier as a credit against your bill each month. For other energy suppliers, you can receive a direct debit payment, and I suggest using your child’s special needs bank account to receive the Allowance, which is paid on the first Tuesday of each month.

You can download the form Household Benefit Package application form (pdf). When filling in the form, there is no section to tick to show your child is on Disability Allowance, but when I spoke to the Department, they informed me that your child’s PPS number would be sufficient.

I hope this helps lots of our families, and as always, please do share this with other families, so nobody with additional needs is missing out.