Know your rights: Medical card holders and prescription charges // Sealbhóirí cárta leighis agus muirir oidis

Question

I am a medical card holder. I have just realised that I am paying more than the monthly cap of €25 for our family’s prescriptions. Why did this happen and can I get a refund?

Answer (March 2015)

If you have a medical card, you are charged €2.50 for each prescription item you receive. Usually your pharmacy keeps records of how much you have paid and makes sure that you do not pay more than €25 each month on prescription charges. However, you may use different pharmacies in the same month or your family members may not have the same medical card number (for example, if a different doctor is used) and you may end up paying more than the cap of €25 per family per month.

If a person or family pays more than €25 in a month, the Health Service Executive (HSE) will issue a refund at the end of the quarter, without you needing to apply. This is done on the basis of the information received from your pharmacy.

However, if you think that you have not received the refund due you can also claim directly from the HSE using claim form PC1 (which you can download from medicalcard.ie, collect at your Local Health Office or get by phoning 1890 252 919 (Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm).)

You can set your family up as a family group on medicalcard.ie and print off a family certificate to give to your pharmacist. This will show all of the members of your family so that the pharmacy will not collect charges above the monthly limit. Your family is defined as you, your spouse or partner, any children under 16 years of age and any children between 16 and 21 years of age who are in full time education.

If you do not have access to the internet you can ask your Local Health Office to help with setting up a family group. You can also call 1890 252 919 or your local pharmacist may be able to help you.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Is sealbhóir cárta leighis mé. Tá sé díreach tar éis rith liom go bhfuil níos mó ná an uasteorainn €25 á íoc agam ar oidis ár dteaghlaigh. Cén fáth ar tharla seo agus an féidir liom aisíocaíocht a fháil?

Freagra

Má tá cárta leighis agat, gearrtar €2.50 ort do gach earra oidis a fhaigheann tú. De ghnáth, coimeádann do chógaslann taifead ar cé mhéid a d’íoc tú agus cinntíonn siad nach n-íocann tú níos mó ná an €25 gach mí ar mhuirir oidis. B’fhéidir gur úsáid tú cógaslanna éagsúla sa mhí chéanna, áfach, nó b’fhéidir nach bhfuil an uimhir chárta leighis chéanna ag do dhaoine muinteartha (mar shampla, má úsáidtear dochtúir éagsúil) agus b’fhéidir go dtarlaíonn go n-íocann tú níos mó ná an uasteorainn €25 in aghaidh an teaghlaigh sa mhí.

Má íocann duine nó teaghlach breis agus €25 in aon mhí amháin, eiseoidh Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte (FSS) aisíocaíocht ag deireadh na ráithe, nach gá duit iarratas a dhéanamh uirthi. Déantar seo ar bhonn na faisnéise a fhaightear ó do chógaslann.

Ach má shíleann tú nach bhfuair tú an aisíocaíocht a bhí dlite duit, féadfaidh tú éileamh díreach a dhéanamh ar FSS trí leas a bhaint as foirm éilimh PC1 [ar féidir í a íoslódáil ó medicalcard.ie, nó í a bhailiú ag d’Oifig Áitiúil Sláinte ní trí ghlao a chur ar 1890 252 919 (ó Luan go hAoine, idir 9rm agus 5in)].

Féadfaidh tú do theaghlach a shocrú mar ghrúpa teaghlaigh ar medicalcard.ie agus deimhniú teaghlaigh a phriontáil lena thabhairt do do chógaiseoir. Léireoidh seo gach duine de mhuintir do theaghlaigh ionas nach mbaileoidh an chógaslann táillí os cionn na teorann míosúla. Is éard is teaghlach ann, tú féin, do chéile nó do pháirtnéir, aon leanaí faoi 16 bliana d’aois agus aon leanaí idir 16 agus 21 bliain d’aois atá in oideachas lánaimseartha.

Mura bhfuil rochtain agat ar an idirlíon, féadfaidh tú iarraidh ar d’Oifig Áitiúil Sláinte cabhrú leat chun grúpa teaghlaigh a shocrú. Ina theannta sin, féadfaidh tú glao ar 1890 252 919 nó d’fhéadfadh do chógaiseoir áitiúil cabhrú leat.

Clúdaíonn colúin ‘Bíodh Eolas Agat ar do Chearta’ ábhair thráthúla gach mí i bhformáid cheiste agus freagra. Foilsíonn an Bord um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh iad ar líne agus déantar iad a fhorangú trí Sheirbhísí um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh do nuachtáin áitiúla ar fud na hÉireann

Tá tuilleadh faisnéise ar fáil ó Ionaid um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh agus ón tSeirbhís Ghutháin um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh trí ghlao ar 0761 07 4000.

It’s Go Slow Day

Slow Down Day takes place over 24 hours from 7:00 am on Friday 27 March to 7:00 am on Saturday 28 March 2015.

The aim of Slow Down Day is to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.  It is recognised that excessive and inappropriate speed is a major factor in road traffic collisions. Last year saw 196 road fatalities. As a general rule a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions, and this is why reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving road safety.

So, slow down, comply with speed limits and take the conditions into account when choosing how fast to drive.

Visit garda.ie for more information. 

Know your rights: Getting married abroad // Pósadh thar lear

Question

My partner and I are getting married next year. We are planning to travel abroad for the ceremony. What do we need to do?

Answer (March 2015)

If either your or your partner are Irish citizens and you are thinking of getting married outside Ireland, the legal validity of your marriage is governed, in part, by the laws of the country in which you marry. In most, if not all cases, the legal formalities abroad are very different to those in Ireland. For example, a church marriage abroad is usually a purely religious ceremony with no legal effect. Because it is not recognised in law in the country in which it takes place, it cannot be regarded as a legal marriage in Ireland. This is the case even though a marriage in the same church or denomination in Ireland is legally binding. This is because the religious ceremony is recognised in Ireland as a civil contract.

It is very important, therefore, that you make sure to meet all the legal requirements of the country you are marrying in. You should contact the civil registration office in that country to find out what is required. You may decide to have a civil marriage in Ireland followed by a religious ceremony abroad.

Although you must meet the foreign requirements, you are still bound by Irish law as far as the capacity to marry is concerned. For example, your marriage abroad will not be recognised under Irish law if one or both of you was ordinarily resident in Ireland and one or both of you was aged under 18 at the time of the marriage and did not have a Court Exemption Order.

Marriages that take place outside the State are not normally registered in Ireland. They are usually registered in the country where they occur. Your foreign marriage certificate will usually be accepted for official purposes in Ireland if you need to show evidence that you are married. If the certificate is in a foreign language, you must provide an official translation or a translation from a recognised translation agency.

You may require a Certificate of Freedom to Marry to get married in some foreign countries. This may also be called “Certificate de Coutume” or “Certificate of Nulla Osta”. You apply online to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for a Certificate of Freedom to Marry.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Pósfar mé féin agus mo pháirtnéir an bhliain seo chugainn. Tá sé beartaithe againn taisteal thar lear don searmanas. Cad is gá dúinn a dhéanamh?

Freagra

Más saoránaigh Éireannacha tú féin nó do pháirtnéir agus má tá sibh ag smaoineamh ar phósadh lasmuigh d’Éirinn, rialaíonn dlíthe na tíre ina bpósfar sibh bailíocht dlíthiúil do phósta, go páirteach. I dtromlach na gcásanna, nó i ngach cás, tá na foirmeáltachtaí dlíthiúla an-difriúil ná na foirmeáltachtaí in Éirinn. Mar shampla, is gnách gur searmanas reiligiúnach amháin atá i bpósadh eaglaise nach bhfuil aon éifeacht dhlíthiúil aige. Mar gheall nach n-aithnítear é sa dlí sa tír ina ndéantar an pósadh, ní féidir caitheamh leis mar phósadh dlíthiúil in Éirinn. Is amhlaidh an cás fiú cé go bhfuil pósadh san eaglais nó sa sainchreideamh céanna in Éirinn ina cheanglas dlíthiúil. Is amhlaidh atá seo mar gheall go n-aithnítear an searmanas reiligiúnach in Éirinn mar chonradh sibhialta.

Tá sé an-tábhachtach, ar an ábhar sin, go gcinntíonn tú go gcomhlíonann tú ceanglais dhlíthiúla go léir na tíre ina bpóstar thú. Ba cheart duit teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an oifig chláraithe shibhialta sa tír lena dheimhniú cad a theastaíonn. Féadfaidh tú a chinneadh pósadh sibhialta a bheith agat in Éirinn agus searmanas reiligiúnach thar lear ina dhiaidh sin.

Cé gur gá duit na riachtanais iasachta a chomhlíonadh, tá tú fós faoi cheanglas dhlí na hÉireann i dtaobh na hinniúlachta chun pósadh a dhéanamh. Mar shampla, ní aithneofar do phósadh thar lear faoi dhlí na hÉireann má bhí gnáthchónaí ag duine amháin nó an bheirt agaibh in Éirinn agus má bhí duine amháin nó an bheirt agaibh faoi aois 18 mbliana ag tráth an phósta agus mura raibh Ordú Díolúine Cúirte agat/agaibh.

Ní gnách go gcláraítear póstaí a dhéantar lasmuigh den Stát in Éirinn. Is gnách go gcláraítear sa tír ina ndéantar iad. Is gnách go nglacfar le do dheimhniú pósta iasachta ar mhaithe le cuspóirí oifigiúla in Éirinn más gá duit fianaise a thaispeáint go bhfuil tú pósta. Má tá an deimhniú i dteanga iasachta, ní mór duit aistriúchán oifigiúil nó aistriúchán ó ghníomhaireacht aitheanta aistriúcháin a sholáthar.

B’fhéidir go dteastóidh Deimhniú Saoirse le Pósadh uait chun pósadh i dtíortha áirithe iasachta. D’fhéadfaí “Deimhniú de Coutume” nó “Deimhniú Nulla Osta” a thabhairt air seo chomh maith. Déanann tú iarratas ar líne chuig an Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála ar Dheimhniú Saoirse le Pósadh.

Clúdaíonn colúin ‘Bíodh Eolas Agat ar do Chearta’ ábhair thráthúla gach mí i bhformáid cheiste agus freagra. Foilsíonn an Bord um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh iad ar líne agus déantar iad a fhorangú trí Sheirbhísí um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh do nuachtáin áitiúla ar fud na hÉireann

Tá tuilleadh faisnéise ar fáil ó Ionaid um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh agus ón tSeirbhís Ghutháin um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh trí ghlao ar 0761 07 4000.

Are you getting Rent Supplement and worried about losing your home?

If you are getting Rent Supplement from the Department of Social Protection and you are at risk of losing your home due to a proposed rent increase, there is support available. You should contact your local office that administers the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme, which includes Rent Supplement, as soon as possible.

If you are living in the Dublin area or in Cork city, you can contact the Tenancy Protection Service, which is run by Threshold. The service can be reached on Freephone 1800 454 454.

Find out about the PolskaÉire festival

PolskaÉire 2015 – the first Polish-Irish Festival runs from 21 to 29 March. An estimated 150,000 members of the Polish community live in Ireland.

Events will be hosted by national institutions, local authorities, community groups, sports clubs and schools throughout the country. They include Polish language classes, a film festival, a food and craft fair and explorations of the links between Ireland and Poland

Visit polskaeirefestival.com for a programme of events. 

Connecting with the Irish Diaspora

Many people living outside Ireland claim Irish heritage and feel a connection to Ireland. The Irish Diaspora is the term used to refer to Irish people living abroad and people of Irish descent. A new policy that recognises the relationship between Ireland and its diaspora and sets out actions to nurture and develop this relationship was recently published:  Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy.

Deduction of Local Property Tax

If you selected a Single Debit Authority to pay your local property tax in full for 2015 this payment will be deducted from your bank account on Monday 23 March 2015.

The full amount due for 2015 will be deducted.

The actual due date for payment is Saturday 21 March 2015. However as banks are closed on that date the payment will be deducted on the next available working day which is 23 March 2015.

You should make sure that the necessary funds are available in your bank account so your LPT payment can be processed.  

Know your rights: Changes to the One-Parent Family Payment // Athruithe ar Íocaíocht Teaghlach Aontuismitheora

Question

I’m getting a One-Parent Family Payment. I know that the age limits for the payment will be changing in July. What’s happening and how will it affect me?

Answer (March 2015)

On 2 July 2015 the age limit for the One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) will reduce to 7 years for most claimants. This means that a large number of people will no longer qualify for OFP from July 2015 because their youngest child will be over the age limit. If your youngest child is aged under 7 you can continue to qualify for OFP. (There are exemptions to the age limit for people parenting alone who are getting a Domiciliary Care Allowance or who have been recently bereaved.)

If your payment is ending in July 2015 the Department of Social Protection will write to tell you the date your payment ends. You may also be requested to attend an information seminar. At this seminar you will get information about the other social welfare payments that may be available to you and help with applying for these. It is very important that you attend the seminar so you fully understand your options and so that you are not left without a payment when your OFP ends in July.

If you are getting Family Income Supplement or a carer’s payment this payment will automatically be adjusted when your OFP ends and you will not be invited to a seminar.

You may also qualify for the new Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD). If you are getting FIS and your OFP is ending in July 2015, you will be sent an application form for the BTWFD along with the letter explaining the changes to your OFP payment.

If you were getting a One-Parent Family Payment in the last 3 years and your youngest child is aged under 14 you may qualify for the Jobseeker’s Allowance transitional arrangement. This arrangement allows you to work part-time and still receive a partial payment.

You can get more information and advice on these changes at your social welfare local office or Intreo centre or your nearest Citizens Information Centre.

Know Your Rights columns cover topical subjects every month in a question-and-answer format. They are published by the Citizens Information Board online and syndicated through Citizens Information Services to local newspapers around Ireland.

Further information is available from Citizens Information Centres and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, call 0761 07 4000.

Ceist

Tá Íocaíocht Teaghlach Aontuismitheora á fáil agam. Tá a fhios agam go mbeidh athrú ag teacht ar na haoisteorainneacha don íocaíocht in Iúil. Cad a bheidh ag tarlú agus conas a imreoidh sé tionchar orm?

Freagra

An 2 Iúil 2015, laghdófar an aoisteorainn d’Íocaíocht Teaghlach Aontuismitheora (ÍTA) anuas go dtí 7 mbliana i measc fhormhór na n-éilitheoirí. Ciallaíonn seo nach gcáileoidh líon mór daoine a thuilleadh don ÍTA ó Iúil 2015 ar aghaidh mar gheall go mbeidh a leanbh is óige os cionn na haoisteorann. Má tá do leanbh is óige faoi bhun 7 mbliana d’aois, féadfaidh tú leanúint le cáiliú do ÍTA. Tá eisceachtaí maidir leis seo i bhfeidhm dóibh siúd a bhfuil Liúntas Cúram Baile (LCB) á fháil acu nó a bhí thíos le méala le déanaí.

Má tá deireadh á chur le d’íocaíocht in Iúil 2015, scríobhfaidh an Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí (RCS) chugat le thú a chur ar an eolas faoin dáta a chríochnóidh d’íocaíocht. Chomh maith leis sin, d’fhéadfaí iarraidh ort freastal ar sheimineár faisnéise. Ag an seimineár seo, tabharfar faisnéis duit faoi na híocaíochtaí eile leasa shóisialaigh a d’fhéadfadh bheith ar fáil duit agus tabharfar cabhair duit chun iarratas a dhéanamh orthu. Tá sé an-tábhachtach go bhfreastalaíonn tú ar an seimineár ionas go dtuigeann tú go hiomlán do chuid roghanna agus ionas nach bhfágfar gan íocaíocht thú nuair a chuirtear deireadh le do ÍTA in Iúil.

Má tá Forlíonadh Ioncam Teaghlaigh nó íocaíocht chúramóra á fáil agat, déanfar an íocaíocht seo a choigeartú go huathoibríoch nuair a chuirfear deireadh le do ÍTA agus ní thabharfar cuireadh duit freastal ar sheimineár.

Chomh maith leis sin, d’fhéadfá cáiliú don Díbhinn nua Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair (DTFAO). Má tá FIT á fháil agat agus má chuirfear deireadh le do ÍTA in Iúil 2015, seolfar foirm iarratais chugat do DTFAO mar aon le litir ina mínítear na hathruithe a dhéanfar ar d’íocaíocht ÍTA.

Má bhí Íocaíocht Teaghlach Aontuismitheora á fáil agat le 3 bliana anuas agus má tá do leanbh is óige faoi 14 bliana, d’fhéadfá cáiliú do shocrú idirthréimhseach Liúntas Cuardaitheora Poist. Ceadaíonn an socrú seo duit oibriú go páirtaimseartha agus íocaíocht pháirteach a fháil fós féin.

Clúdaíonn colúin ‘Bíodh Eolas Agat ar do Chearta’ ábhair thráthúla gach mí i bhformáid cheiste agus freagra. Foilsíonn an Bord um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh iad ar líne agus déantar iad a fhorangú trí Sheirbhísí um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh do nuachtáin áitiúla ar fud na hÉireann.

Tá tuilleadh faisnéise ar fáil ó Ionaid um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh agus ón tSeirbhís Ghutháin um Fhaisnéis do Shaoránaigh trí ghlao ar 0761 07 4000.