Help after a flood

The Department of Social Protection’s Humanitarian Assistance Scheme provides means-tested emergency financial help immediately following flooding. It does not provide compensation for damage. The amount paid depends on how severe the damage is and your ability to meet these costs. The DSP also provides exceptional and urgent needs payments which can help in the aftermath of a flood.

The Irish Red Cross Society is administering two schemes to provide emergency humanitarian support. One will provide help to small businesses (under 20 employees) that were unable to secure flood insurance and have been flooded following recent storms (on or after 4 December 2015). The scheme aims to give help towards the costs of returning business premises to their pre-flood condition including the replacement of flooring, fixtures and fittings and damaged stock. The scheme will not provide a contribution to loss of earnings or loss of business good-will.

The second gives temporary emergency humanitarian support to community, voluntary and sporting bodies affected by flooding during the period between December 2015 and January 2016. The scheme covers damage to buildings, contents or equipment for organisations that could not secure flood insurance.

You can find out more about both schemes and how to apply from the Irish Red Cross. The closing date for both schemes is Sunday 31 January 2016. 

The Department of Agriculture’s Assistance scheme provides support for farmers including support for animal welfare, temporary relaxation of the rules around moving livestock and special arrangements around flooding of slurry tanks. A new Fodder Aid Scheme 2016 is also available for farmers who have had fodder losses as a result of severe flooding.

You can contact your local Department of Agriculture Office, the Animal Welfare Helpline: 0761 06 4404 or (01) 607 2379 or your Teagasc advisor on the Teagasc Advisory Helpline: 0761 11 3355 to find out  more.

Revenue has announced provisions to help people who have been affected by flooding. If your home has been flooded and you are getting help from the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme, you can apply to have your 2016 LPT payment deferred (even if you do not qualify for deferral under the normal criteria). Contact the LPT Helpline on 1890 200 255 to make the relevant arrangements.

If your business premises have been damaged by floods and you are getting help from the Government Support for Small Business Fund, via the Red Cross, you should contact the Collector-General’s office on 1890 20 30 70 to agree additional time to file returns and make payments or to agree suitable phased payment arrangements.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has a website, flooding.ie, that gives information about what to do before, during and after a flood. Visit flooding.ie to find out more.

The HSE has information on cleaning a home after flooding and the psychological effects of flooding.

There are two leaflets giving details of the help available:

Safefood advice on cooking your Christmas turkey

Every year some of the most googled terms on Christmas Day are ‘cooking times’ and ‘turkey’.

The basic rules are:

  • For turkeys up to 8 kgs allow 15 – 20 minutes per 0.5kg
  • For turkeys over 8 kgs allow 10 – 15 minutes per 0.5kg

Safefood have a useful infographic that not only tells you how long to cook your turkey for but also how much you will need for different numbers of people.

And if you have leftovers, get tips and recipes from Bord Bia.

Happy Christmas!

Opening hours over Christmas

Citizens Information Board

The Citizens Information Board will be closed on Friday 25 and Monday 28 December and on Friday 1 January 2015.

Citizens Information Phone Service (CIPS)

CIPS can be contacted on 0761 07 4000.

Monday 21 December – Wednesday 23 December Open – 9am – 8pm
Thursday 24th December – Tuesday 29th December  Closed
Wednesday 30 December Open – 9am  – 5pm
Thursday 31 December Open – 9am  – 5pm
Friday 1 January 2016 Closed
Monday 4 January Normal service resumes (9am – 8pm)

Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS)

Check with your local service.

The MABS Helpline can be contacted on 0761 07 2000

It will be closed on Thursday 24 December, Friday 25 and Monday 28 December.

It will be open from Tuesday 29 December to Thursday 31 December from 9am to 5pm. It will be closed on Friday 1 January 2016.

Normal hours of 9am-8pm will be resumed from Monday 4 January.

Citizens Information Services

Check with your local Citizens Information Centre.

Public service opening hours over the Christmas period

The Department of Social Protection has published arrangements for social welfare payments and office opening hours. Most DSP customers will have had an advance payment for the week starting 21 December paid in the previous week.

Revenue arrangements for the period are available on revenue.ie. Correspondence (including faxes and emails) submitted over the holiday period will be dealt with as soon as possible. Revenue’s online services for business (ROS) and myAccount will be available during the holiday period.

Workplace Relations Customer Service has published details of the opening times for their phone lines (1890 80 80 90 and 059 917 8990) over Christmas and New Year. 

The HSE also publishes useful information on keeping healthy and warm over Christmas.The HSE Infoline opening hours are online at hse.ie. 

Connect counselling, funded by the HSE, is a free and confidential telephone-based counselling and support service for adults who were abused in childhood. The service will be available over Christmas and the details of opening hours are online at hse.ie. 

New dedicated mortgage arrears service from the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS)

If you’re behind in your mortgage payments, you may be worried about losing your home.

Talk to your lender. If you can’t – talk to MABS.

MABS now has a dedicated confidential, free, and independent mortgage arrears service.

MABS is a one-stop-shop for mortgage debt advice and referral.

No matter what your situation is, MABS will help you work out the next steps.

Take control of what happens next.

Call MABS today on 0761 07 2000 for independent information, advice and referral.

It’s International Migrants Day

To mark this year’s International Migrants Day on December 18, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling on the international community to come together and remember the refugees and migrants who have tragically lost their lives this year.

A global Candlelight Vigil will be held today to commemorate the lives that have been lost or have disappeared while trying to reach safe harbour after arduous journeys across seas and deserts in 2015.

You can visit the UN’s website to find out more about migrants and refugees or visit iamamigrant.org to read migrant stories in their own words.

Corporal punishment of children

Legal changes aimed at banning corporal punishment or use of force against children came into law on Friday 11 December 2015. From that date a person who physically punishes a child can no longer rely on the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ in the courts. No new offence has been created and there are no laws that ban the smacking of children. However the withdrawal of the reasonable chastisement defence means that an effective ban is in place.

You can visit Parenting24Seven, an online resource from Tusla to find out what works best for children and families at different stages of childhood and in different situations. 

Help for small businesses affected by flooding

The Irish Red Cross Society is administering a scheme to provide emergency humanitarian support to small businesses (under 20 employees) that were unable to secure flood insurance and have been flooded following recent storms.

The scheme aims to give help towards the costs of returning business premises to their pre-flood condition including the replacement of flooring, fixtures and fittings and damaged stock. The scheme will not provide a contribution to loss of earnings or loss of business good-will.

Read more and find out where to apply from the Irish Red Cross.