126,000 people who live alone are to get an allowance to help with the cost of installing a burglar alarm.

The Telephone Allowance scheme which takes effect this week will be worth 130 euro a year.

The Department of Social Protection introduced the payment to help prevent isolation.

Pensioners who live alone, widows and widowers, people on disability allowance, those in receipt of a deserted wife's benefit and people on a blind pension are among the 126,000 people to receive the Telephone Allowance Scheme. 

It's designed to help with the cost of communications and home alert solutions like monitored burglar alarms.

The Department of Social protection has been in contact with the relevant people and the first payments of 2 euro 50 per week will be made by Friday.

 Minister Regina Doherty says the allowance is being brought in to help prevent isolation and to protect the most vulnerable in society.

There is no application process and eligible householders will receive it automatically as an additional sum on top of their regular weekly payment. 



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