Register by today (30 June) to qualify for the Water Conservation Grant

You need to register with Irish Water by today (30 June) to qualify for the new Water Conservation Grant.

Every household that registers with Irish Water by 30 June 2015 will be eligible for the annual Water Conservation Grant, even if the household has its own private water supply and wastewater services.

This grant will be paid by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) from September 2015. It is available to all home occupiers including people who are renting. You can use it as you choose, for example, as a contribution towards your water bills, installing a conservation system, maintaining your well or de-sludging your septic tank.

The Department of Social Protection will write to households that are registered with Irish Water in July 2015 outlining the application process.

Read more on watergrant.ie.

Know your rights: Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance // Liúntas Éadaí agus Coisbhirt chun Filleadh ar Scoil

Question

I am getting Jobseeker’s Allowance and my oldest child is starting school this year. Is there a payment to help with  the costs of children going to school?

Answer (June 2015)

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school. Your children must be aged between 4 and 22 on or before 30 September 2015. If they are aged between 18 and 22 they must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.

To qualify you must be getting a social welfare payment or taking part in a training, employment or adult education scheme. In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child with your payment. People getting Family Income Supplement and the new Back to Work Family Dividend can qualify for BTSCFA. Also, your total family income must be below a certain level for your family size. The Allowance is €100 for eligible children aged between 4 and 11 and €200 for those aged between 12 and 22.

The scheme is open from 1 June to 30 September 2015. The Department of Social Protection pays BTSCFA automatically to many customers. This means that they do not have to apply for the payment. If you qualify automatically, you should get a letter stating when and how your Allowance will be paid. If you do not get an automatic payment you must apply for the Allowance. If any of your children are aged 18 or over you must apply for the Allowance for them and supply evidence that they are in second-level education (even if automatic payments have issued for other children in the family).

Application forms are available in all local social welfare offices and Intreo centres, and on the Department’s website, welfare.ie (pdf). When a decision has been made on your application you will get a letter informing you of this and whether the Allowance has been awarded. If your application has been successful, you will also be told when and where you can collect the payment. If the Allowance is refused you can ask for a review of the decision.

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 Liúntas Cuardaitheora Poist á fháil agam agus beidh mo leanbh is sine ag tosú sa scoil i mbliana. An bhfuil íocaíocht ann chun cabhrú leis na costais a bhíonn ar leanaí freastal ar an scoil?

Freagra

Cabhraíonn an Liúntas Éadaí agus Coisbhirt chun Filleadh ar Scoil (LÉCFAS) leat chun íoc as costas éidí agus coisbhirt do leanaí atá ag freastal ar an scoil. Ní mór go bhfuil tú idir aois 4 agus 22 bliain an 30 Meán Fómhair 2015 nó roimhe sin. Má tá siad idir 18 agus 22 bliain, ní mór dóibh bheith in oideachas lánaimseartha dara leibhéal i scoil nó coláiste aitheanta.

Chun cáiliú, ní mór go bhfuil íocaíocht leasa shóisialaigh á fáil agat nó go bhfuil tú ag glacadh páirte i scéim oiliúna, fostaíochta nó oideachais do dhaoine fásta. Go ginearálta, ní mór go bhfuil Méadú i leith Leanbh Cáilithe á fháil agat le d’íocaíocht. Is féidir le daoine a bhfuil Forlíonadh Ioncam Teaghlaigh agus an Díbhinn nua Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair á bhfáil acu cáiliú don LÉCFAS). Ina theannta sin, ní mór go mbeidh d’ioncam iomlán teaghlaigh faoi bhun leibhéal áirithe do mhéid do theaghlaigh. Is é an Liúntas €100 i gcás leanaí cáilithe idir aois 4 agus 11 bhliain agus €200 dóibh siúd idir aois 12 agus 22 bliain.

Tá an scéim ar oscailt ón 1 Meitheamh go dtí an 30 Meán Fómhair 2015. Íocann an Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí an LÉCFAS go huathoibríoch le go leor custaiméirí. Ciallaíonn seo nach gá dóibh iarratas a dhéanamh don íocaíocht. Má cháilíonn tú go huathoibríoch, ba cheart duit litir a fháil ina luaitear cathain agus conas a íocfar do Liúntas. Mura bhfaigheann tú íocaíocht uathoibríoch, ní mór duit iarratas a dhéanamh ar an Liúntas. Má tá aon duine de do leanaí 18 mbliana d’aois nó os a chionn, ní mór duit iarratas a dhéanamh ar an Liúntas dóibh agus fianaise a sholáthar go bhfuil siad in oideachas dara leibhéal (fiú má eisíodh íocaíochtaí uathoibríocha do leanaí eile sa teaghlach).

Tá fáil ar fhoirmeacha iarratais ó Mheitheamh 2015 ar aghaidh i ngach oifig leasa shóisialaigh áitiúil agus gach ionad Intreo agus ar láithreán gréasáin na Roinne ag welfare.ie. Nuair a bhíonn cinneadh déanta ar d’iarratas, gheobhaidh tú litir a chuirfidh tú ar an eolas air seo agus ar cibé acu ar bronnadh nó nár bronnadh an Liúntas. Má bhí an rath ar d’iarratas, inseofar duit, chomh maith, cathain agus cá féidir leat an íocaíocht a bhailiú. Má dhiúltaítear an liúntas, féadfaidh tú iarraidh ar athbhreithniú an chinnidh.

Water Conservation Grant

You need to register with Irish Water by 30 June to qualify for the new Water Conservation Grant.

Every household that registers with Irish Water by 30 June 2015 will be eligible for the annual Water Conservation Grant, even if the household has its own private water supply and wastewater services.

This grant will be paid by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) from September 2015. It is available to all home occupiers including people who are renting. You can use it as you choose, for example, as a contribution towards your water bills, installing a conservation system, maintaining your well or de-sludging your septic tank.

The Department of Social Protection will write to households that are registered with Irish Water in July 2015 outlining the application process.

Read more on watergrant.ie.

Know your rights: Selling a property and LPT // Réadmhaoin a dhíol agus CMÁ

Question

 I’m selling my house. The asking price is a lot more than the valuation for Local Property Tax (LPT) on 1 May 2013. Will I be liable to pay the outstanding LPT if I sell it for the asking price or more?

Answer (June 2015)

In general, if you declared a valuation band or valuation on your 2013 Return honestly and in line with Revenue guidelines, this valuation will continue to apply until 31 October 2016. When you are selling your house you (or your solicitor) can use the LPT online system to get clearance from Revenue to prove that there are no outstanding LPT issues with your property.

This is known as General Clearance. However, if the expected or agreed sales price is greater than the valuation band or valuation declared on the 2013 Return, you may need to get Written Clearance from Revenue, as well as General Clearance. If you meet any of the following conditions, you don’t need to get Written Clearance:

  • The sales price falls within the allowable valuation margin: In general, for houses that were valued up to €300,000 the sales price can fall into the next valuation band; for houses valued between €300,000 and €1 million the sale price can be up to 15% higher than the upper limit of the band declared and for houses over €1 million the sale price can be up to 15% higher than the declared chargeable value.
  • You carried out work that enhanced the value of the property. You must have receipts and verification of how much was spent.
  • You based the original valuation on sales of comparable properties. You must be able to show that you based the declared chargeable value on the valuation date on known and verifiable sale prices of comparable properties in the area.

You can read full details of the conditions in Revenue’s guidelines on the sale of properties.

You will need to get Written Clearance from Revenue if none of the above conditions are met and your declared valuation was made in good faith and in line with Revenue guidelines. You apply for Written Clearance by completing Form LPT5 and including relevant supporting documentation. Revenue will review the basis for your declared valuation and determine whether clearance should issue.

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 mo theach á dhíol agam. Tá an praghas iarrata i bhfad níos airde ná an luacháil don Cháin Mhaoine Áitiúil (CMÁ) amhail an 1 Bealtaine 2013. An mbeidh mé faoi dhliteanas íoc as an CMÁ gan íoc má dhíolaim an teach ar an bpraghas iarrata nó ar phraghas níos airde.

Freagra

Go ginearálta, má d’fhógair tú banda luachála nó luacháil a rinneadh ar do Thuairisceán go hionraic agus ar aon dul le treoirlínte na gCoimisinéirí Ioncaim, leanfaidh an luacháil seo bheith i bhfeidhm go dtí an 31 Deireadh Fómhair 2016. Nuair a dhíolann tú do theach, féadfaidh tú (nó d’aturnae) an córas CMÁ ar líne a úsáid chun imréiteach a fháil ó na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim lena chruthú nach bhfuil aon saincheisteanna CMÁ gan íoc ann maidir le do réadmhaoin.

Tugtar Imréiteach Ginearálta air seo. Más mó an praghas díola a bhfuil súil leis nó más mó an praghas comhaontaithe díola ná an banda luachála nó an luacháil a fhógraítear ar Thuairisceán 2013, b’fhéidir go mbeidh ort Imréiteach Scríofa a fháil ó na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim, mar aon le hImréiteach Ginearálta. Má chomhlíonann tú aon chinn de na coinníollacha a leanas, ní gá duit Imréiteach Scríofa a fháil:

  • Tagann an praghas díola laistigh de theorainn incheadaithe luachála: Go ginearálta, i dtaobh tithe ar a ndearnadh luacháil a mhéid le €300,000, féadfaidh an praghas díola teacht faoi chuimsiú an chéid bhanda luachála eile; i dtaobh tithe ar a ndéantar luacháil idir €300,000 agus €1 milliún, féadfaidh an praghas díola a bheith a mhéid le 15% níos airde ná teorainn uasta an bhanda a fhógraítear agus i dtaobh tithe os cionn €1 milliún, féadfaidh an praghas díola a bheith a mhéid le 15% níos airde ná an luach inmhuirir a fhógraítear.
  • Thug tú faoi obair a mhéadaigh luach na réadmhaoine. Ní mór duit fáltais agus deimhniú a bheith agat ar cé mhéid a caitheadh.
  • Bhunaigh tú an luacháil bhunúil ar réadmhaoin inchomparáide a díoladh. Ní mór go bhfuil tú in ann a thaispeáint gur bhunaigh tú an luach inmhuirir a fhógraítear ar an dáta luachála ar phraghsanna infhíoraithe agus a bhí ar eolas ar réadmhaoin inchomparáide sa cheantar.

Féadfaidh tú sonraí iomlána na gcoinníollacha a léamh i dtreoirlínte na gCoimisinéirí Ioncaim maidir le réadmhaoin a dhíol.

Beidh ort Imréiteach Scríofa a fháil ó na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim mura gcomhlíontar aon cheann de na coinníollacha thuas agus má rinneadh do luacháil fhógartha le hintinn mhaith agus ar aon dul le treoirlínte na gCoimisinéirí Ioncaim. Déanann tú iarratas ar Imréiteach Scríofa trí Fhoirm LPT5 a chomhlánú agus an cháipéisíocht ábhartha tacaíochta a chur san áireamh. Déanfaidh na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim athbhreithniú ar an mbonn a bhí faoin luacháil a d’fhógair tú agus a dheimhniú cibé acu ar cheart nó nár cheart imréiteach a eisiúint.

Registration is now open for GP visit cards for children under 6

The new scheme of GP visit cards for children aged under 6 is now open for registration.

If your child or children have a medical card or GP visit card they will automatically be registered for this new scheme.

If your child or children does not have a medical card or GP visit card you must register them for this new scheme. You will need the child’s PPS number to register.

You can apply online or you can fill in a registration form. The service is expected to be available from July.

Visit hse.ie to find out more and to download a registration form. 

Think before you flush campaign

Think Before You Flush is a public awareness campaign about the problem sanitary products and other items can cause in our marine environment and our wastewater systems if they are flushed down the toilet. The campaign is operated by An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme and is supported by Irish Water. The Think Before You Flush campaign invites you to make small changes in your bathroom behaviour like never using the toilet to dispose of sanitary products.

Visit thinkbeforeyouflush.org to find out more. 

Know your rights: Back to Work Family Dividend // An Díbhinn Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair

Question

What is the new Back to Work Family Dividend?

Answer (June 2015)

The Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) scheme aims to help families to move from social welfare into employment. It gives extra financial support to people with qualified children who stop claiming a jobseeker’s payment or a one-parent family payment because they have taken up employment or self-employment.

If you qualify for the scheme you will get a weekly payment for up to 2 years. For the first year in employment you will be paid the equivalent of any Increases for Qualified Children that were being paid on your jobseeker’s or one-parent family payment (up to a maximum of 4 children). Half that amount will be paid weekly for the second year.

To qualify, you and all members of your family (including your adult dependant) must sign off all primary social welfare payments. However the Back to Work Family Dividend can be paid with Family Income Supplement (FIS) and is not taken into account in the means test for FIS. It can also be paid if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant finds work, provided you are getting an Increase for a Qualified Adult on your payment for them. However, you must meet the conditions and the Back to Work Family Dividend will be paid to you (as the recipient of the social welfare payment).

BTWFD can be paid with some non-primary social welfare payments such as Child Benefit, Rent Supplement and Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (see citizensinformation.ie for the full list). The habitual residence condition applies to BTWFD.

Applications for the scheme have been accepted since Monday 5 January 2015.The scheme became fully operational on 6 May 2015. All eligible claims are being backdated to the date of application.

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

Cad í an Díbhinn nua Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair?

Freagra

Tá de chuspóir ag scéim na Díbhinne Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair (DTFAO) cabhrú le teaghlaigh aistriú ó leas sóisialach isteach san fhostaíocht. Tugann sí tacaíocht bhreise airgeadais do dhaoine a bhfuil leanaí cáilithe acu a chuireann stop le híocaíocht chuardaitheora poist nó íocaíocht teaghlach aontuismitheora a éileamh mar gheall gur ghlac siad le fostaíocht nó le féinfhostaíocht.

Má cháilíonn tú don scéim, gheobhaidh tú íocaíocht sheachtainiúil ar feadh a fhad le 2 bhliain. Íocfar leat comhionann aon Mhéaduithe do Leanaí Cáilithe a bhí á n-íoc agat ar d’íocaíocht chuardaitheora poist nó d’íocaíocht teaghlach aontuismitheora (a mhéid le ceathrar leanaí) don chéad bhliain fostaíochta. Íocfar leath na suime sin gach seachtain i gcaitheamh na dara bliana.

Chun cáiliú, ní mór duitse, agus gach duine muinteartha i do theaghlach (do dhuine fásta cleithiúnach san áireamh) díshíniú de gach buníocaíocht leasa shóisialaigh a fháil. Féadtar an Díbhinn Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair a íoc le Forlíonadh Ioncam Teaghlaigh (FIT) agus ní chuirtear san áireamh í sa tástáil mhaoin don FIT, áfach. Anuas air sin, is féidir í a íoc má aimsíonn do chéile, páirtnéir sibhialta nó do chomháitritheoir obair, a fhad agus atá Méadú i leith Duine Fásta Cáilithe á fháil agat le d’íocaíocht dóibh. Ní mór duitse, áfach, na coinníollacha a chomhlíonadh agus íocfar an Díbhinn Teaghlaigh um Fhilleadh ar Obair leat (mar fhaighteoir na híocaíochta leasa shóisialaigh).

Is féidir an DTFAO a íoc le roinnt íocaíochtaí neamhphríomha leasa shóisialaigh, ar nós Sochar Linbh, Forlíonadh Cíosa agus an Liúntais Éadaí agus Choisbhirt chun Filleadh ar Scoil (féach citizensinformation.ie chun teacht ar an liosta iomlán). Baineann coinníoll an ghnáthchónaithe leis an DTFAO.

Táthar ag glacadh le hiarratais ar an scéim ó Dé Luain an 5 Eanáir 2015 ar aghaidh. Rinneadh scéim lánfheidhmiúil den scéim an 5 Bealtaine 2015. Tá gach éileamh incháilithe á siardhátú chuig dáta an iarratais.

Exam helpline

You can get information on the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations, including regular updates throughout the exam period from the website of the State Examinations Commission examinations.ie. The phone number for all enquiries is 090 6442700.

From 3-19 June 2015 staff members are available to deal with queries from 8.30am to 9.00pm on examination days and from 9.30am to 1.00pm at weekends.

Outside of these hours you can use the main number 090 6442700 and a brief message can be left with the security staff.

Adult literacy supports

If you or any member of your family have considered returning to education to improve reading, writing and numeracy or computer skills there are lots of supports to help you.

You can study online by yourself, work with a tutor on the phone or learn in your local ETB adult education centre. Or you can do a combination of these three to suit your lifestyle. The NALA (the National Adult Literacy Agency) website gives information on all these services and  contact details for all adult literacy services in Ireland.

You can call the national Freephone number 1800 34 55 55 or contact your local Adult Learning Service in your nearest Education and Training Board (ETB).

The writeon.ie website can help you learn new skills. You can improve your reading, writing or maths skills or learn about communications and digital media technology. You can work towards a national qualification in a range of subjects. You need to register to use the site but all the courses are free.