The number of people applying for the fuel allowance payment in Clare nearly doubled in the first two months of this year.
Figures obtained by Clare FM show the number of people attempting to access other forms of social welfare payments has also increased.
Data received following a Freedom of Information request shows 209 new fuel allowance claims were made in Clare in January and February of 2021.
That number increased to 384 in the first two months of this year – though only 62 percent of those claims were accepted by the Department of Social Protection.
There was a near 15 percent increase in the number of fuel allowance claims made in Clare to the Department between 2019 and 2021.
Applications for the Household Benefit Package, which helps with the likes of energy bills or TV licence costs, have also jumped by 16 percent here in the first two months of this year.
573 such claims were made here in January and February, with around 4 in 5 of those subsequently approved.
Despite this, the number of people applying for Exceptional Needs Payments appears to be dropping, though these are traditionally accessed more in the later part of the year as the weather turns colder.
More than 15 million euro was spent in Clare alone on providing the Household Benefit Package, the Fuel Allowance and Exceptional Needs Payments in 2020, with data not yet available for 2021 and 2022.