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Carer’s Support Grant will be paid on Thursday

The Carer’s Support Grant for 2017 will be paid on Thursday 1 June.

This grant is an annual payment to carers from the Department of Social Protection. Carers can use it in whatever way they choose. You can use it to pay for respite care if you wish, but you do not have to do so.

In 2017 the grant is €1,700. It is paid automatically to carers who get Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance. If you are not getting one of these payments and you did not get the grant last year, you should fill in an application form (pdf).

Read more about the Carer’s Support Grant.

Water safety advice

The RNLI has useful advice about staying safe in water.

If you see someone in danger of drowning, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. Look for something that floats, or that they can hold on to, and throw it out to them.

If you fall into water, the RNLI advises you to float or rest until you regain control of your breathing, increasing your chances of survival.

 

 

Know your rights: Farm Assist means test

Question

How is income from different sources assessed for Farm Assist? I do some contracting as well as farming and my spouse works part-time. We have two children.

Answer (April 2017)

The means test for Farm Assist takes into account virtually every type of income you may have but it assesses different income in different ways.

Your income from farming and other self-employment (like contracting) is assessed as the gross income that you or your spouse may be expected to receive, less any expenses you incur to earn that income. From 8 March 2017, €254 of the income each year is disregarded for each of your two children (it would be €381 for a third or subsequent child). 70% of the balance is assessed (it was 100% up to March 2017).

Payments under rural environmental schemes such as GLAS and SAC are assessed separately from other farm income. €2,540 is deducted from the total amount of all these payments each year and 50% of the remainder is disregarded. Expenses incurred in complying with these environmental measures are then deducted and the balance is assessed as means. Income from an occupational pension or leasing of land or milk quotas is assessed in full. Capital (including any property that you do not live in) is assessed using the formula applied to means-tested social welfare payments.

If you have an off-farm job, €20 per day (up to a maximum of €60 per week) is deducted from your assessable weekly earnings and then 60% of the remainder is assessed as weekly means. Your spouse’s income from employment is assessed in the same way. If you have seasonal work, you are assessed on your earnings only during the period you are actually working.

When you apply for Farm Assist, a social welfare inspector will visit you and ask to see various documents. The inspector will then assess the costs incurred in running the farm. You are entitled to receive a copy of this farm income calculation.

You can get detailed information on how farm income is assessed at welfare.ie.

Department of Social Protection – arrangements for June Bank Holiday 2017

The Department of Social Protection has published details of opening hours and payment arrangements over the June Bank Holiday.

The Department’s offices are closed on Monday, 5 June 2017.

If you are due to sign for a jobseeker’s payment at your Intreo office or local social welfare office on Monday 5 June 2017, you do not have to sign on that day. However, normal signing arrangements apply for the rest of the week.

If your payment is due to be paid at the post office on Monday 5 June, you can collect it from Saturday 3 June. Note that all post offices will be closed on Monday.

EFT payments to an account in a financial institution that are due on Monday 5 June will be paid on Friday 2 June.

Find out more on welfare.ie.

Paying tax under the self-assessment system

In 2017, if you file your tax return online using the Revenue Online Service (ROS), the due date is extended to 14 November 2017. To avail of this extended deadline, you must file the 2016 Form 11 return and make the appropriate payment through ROS for:

  1. Preliminary Tax for 2017, and
  2. Income Tax balance due for 2016

Where only one of these actions is completed through ROS, the extension does not apply and the required date to submit returns and payments is 31 October 2017.

You can find more information about completing your income tax return on the Revenue website.

Government spending in Ireland – see where your money goes

The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, part of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, has produced a new website which makes it easy to examine government expenditure over the last ten years.

Information is broken down into sectors (for example, Health, Welfare, Education) so that users can see how and where money is being spent. The website uses interactive charts and graphs so that the data can be examined in different ways.

Find out more on the Department’s website, per.gov.ie.

Visit whereyourmoneygoes.gov.ie.