New Rent Supplement limits

Rent limits will increase for the Rent Supplement scheme from Friday 1 July.

Every county or county sub-district in Ireland has a maximum rent limit, within which Rent Supplement can be paid.

If you have entered into an informal top-up arrangement with your landlord you should contact your Community Welfare Service for assistance, as the Department of Social Protection will regularise these top-ups in most cases.

You can see the new limits on our Rent Supplement page. 

Similar maximum limits apply to the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme and these will also increase from Friday 1 July.

Change of mind deadline for college courses is 1 July

You can change your mind about your course choices up until 5.15 pm on Friday 1 July. There is no fee for changing your mind and you can submit as many change of mind requests as you wish. If you submit a Change of Mind, it cancels and supersedes all the previous course choices in any category in which changes are made.

The Central Applications Office (CAO) provides information about how the process works including a video. 

UK vote to leave European Union

The Taoiseach has today made a statement on the UK vote to leave the European Union, as has the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Both statements stress that the UK is not leaving the EU immediately and that arrangements, rights and facilities linked to EU membership still apply in full. A negotiation process will get underway and is expected to take a minimum of two years prior to a UK exit.

A contingency framework has been announced so that the Government and its departments can focus on key policy areas or issues to be addressed in any exit negotiations.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has published an FAQ document in relation to Irish citizens resident in the UK, UK citizens resident in Ireland, citizenship, passports and the Common Travel Area.

The Department of Social Protection has published an FAQ document in relation to social security contributions and social welfare payments.

You can also find further information, including FAQs, statements and reports, on the merrionstreet.ie website.

 

 

Know your rights: Cohabiting and social welfare payments // Comhchónaí agus íocaíochtaí leasa shóisialaigh

Question

I have applied for a means-tested Jobseeker’s Allowance but I was told that I’m not eligible because of my live-in partner’s earnings. We live together but we are not married and we split our expenses equally. Why is this?

Answer

The Department of Social Protection (DSP) treats married and unmarried couples in the same way when assessing entitlement to a means-tested social welfare payment. It assesses the total income of the household, rather than the circumstances of the individual claimant.

This means that if you are married, or are living with another person in an intimate and committed relationship, the means of your spouse or partner are also taken into account. This is the case even if only one of you is actually claiming a payment. The DSP uses detailed definitions and criteria to assess whether a couple are cohabiting and you can read these online at welfare.ie.

How the means of a couple are assessed differs slightly depending on the payment being applied for. For Blind Pension, State Pension (Non-Contributory) and Carer’s Allowance, the DSP adds all of your means together and then halves them to get the assessable means for each one of you. For Jobseeker’s Allowance, Disability Allowance, and Farm Assist, the DSP adds all your combined means together and then assesses them against the maximum household payment for your circumstances. If your spouse or partner is getting a social welfare payment in their own right, your means are taken to be half of the total means of yourself and your spouse or partner.

Sometimes a certain amount of income, or income from particular sources, is not taken into account. This is called an income disregard. For example, a certain amount of income from employment can be disregarded.

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

Rinne mé iarratas ar Liúntas Cuardaitheora Poist ar a ndéantar tástáil mhaoine ach dúradh liom nach bhfuil mé incháilithe mar gheall ar thuillimh mo pháirtnéara a chónaíonn liom. Cónaímid le chéile ach nílimid pósta agus déanaimid ár gcostais a dheighilt go cothrom. Cén fáth seo?

Freagra

Caitheann an Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí (an RCS) le lánúineacha pósta agus neamhphósta ar an mbealach céanna nuair a dhéanann siad measúnú ar theidlíocht d’íocaíocht leasa shóisialaigh ar a ndéantar tástáil mhaoine. Déanann siad measúnú ar ioncam iomlán an teaghlaigh, seachas ar chúinsí an éilitheora aonair.

Ciallaíonn seo, má tá tú pósta, nó má chónaíonn tú le duine eile i gcaidreamh dlúth agus tiomanta, cuirtear maoin do chéile nó do pháirtnéara san áireamh, chomh maith. Is ionann an cás fiú mura bhfuil íocaíocht á héileamh ach ag duine amháin díobh, i bhfírinne. Úsáideann an RCS sainmhínithe agus critéir chun measúnú a dhéanamh ar cé acu an bhfuil nó nach bhfuil lanúin ag comhchónaí le duine eile agus féadfaidh tú iad seo a léamh ar líne ag welfare.ie.

Tá an bealach a mheasúnaítear maoin lánúine beagán éagsúil, ag brath ar an íocaíocht dá bhfuil iarratas á dhéanamh. I gcás Phinsean na nDall, Pinsean Stáit (Neamh-Ranníocach) agus Liúntas Cúramóra, suimíonn an RCS do mhaoin go léir le chéile agus roinneann siad í ina leath, ina dhiaidh sin, chun an mhaoin inmheasúnaithe a dheimhniú do gach duine díobh. I dtaobh Liúntas Cuardaitheora Poist, Liúntas Míchumais, agus Cúnamh Feirme, suimíonn an RCS do chomh-mhaoin go léir le chéile agus déanann siad measúnú orthu i leith na híocaíochta uasta teaghlaigh do bhur gcuid cúinsí. Má tá íocaíocht leasa shóisialaigh á fáil ag do chéile nó páirtnéir ina gceart féin, glactar leis gurb ionann do mhaoin agus leath na maoine go léir atá agat féin agus ag do chéile nó páirtnéir.

Amanna, ní chuirtear méid áirithe ioncaim, nó ioncaim ó fhoinse áirithe, san áireamh. Tugtar neamhaird ioncaim air seo. Mar shampla, is féidir neamhaird a thabhairt ar mhéid áirithe ioncaim ón bhfostaíocht.

Know your rights: Tax Appeals Commission // An Coimisiún um Achomhairc Chánach

Question

What is the new Tax Appeals Commission?

Answer (June 2016)

The Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015  came into operation on 21 March 2016. This Act gives effect to a revised tax appeals process and established a new independent statutory Tax Appeals Commission (TAC), which replaces the former Office of the Appeal Commissioners.

The TAC adjudicates, hears and determines appeals against Revenue decisions concerning taxes and duties under the Finance (Tax Appeals) Act 2015, the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 as amended and other related legislation. There are currently two Appeal Commissioners, appointed by the Minister for Finance for a period of seven years.

The main change to the tax appeals process is the requirement that all appeals (other than customs duties and Registration Tax “first-stage” appeals) are now made directly to the TAC and not to Revenue in the first instance.

The Appeal Commissioners have sole responsibility for accepting or refusing appeals, although Revenue can raise objections to appeals. If both parties agree, the Appeal Commissioners can make determinations based on written submissions (rather than a full hearing). However, you can insist on a hearing if you wish.

By default, all hearings are held in public. However, you can request that a hearing (or part of a hearing) be held in private. To improve the transparency of the appeals process, the Appeal Commissioners are required to publish anonymised versions of all of their determinations. Another significant change is that appeals can no longer be re-heard before a Circuit Court Judge. You can appeal to the High Court on a point of law, but not in relation to the facts.

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 é an Coimisiún um Achomhairc Chánach nua?

Freagra

Tháinig an tAcht Airgeadais (Achomhairc Chánach), 2015 i bhfeidhm an 21 Márta 2016. Tugann an tAcht seo éifeacht do phróiseas leasaithe achomhairc cánach agus bhunaigh sé Coimisiún um Achomhairc Chánach (CAC) nua, a thagann in ionad iar-Oifig na gCoimisinéirí Achomhairc.

Déanann an CAC breithniú agus cinneadh ar achomhairc anuas ar éisteacht le hachomhairc i gcoinne chinntí na gCoimisinéirí Ioncaim maidir le cánacha agus dleachtanna faoin Acht Airgeadais (Achomhairc Chánach), 2015, an tAcht Comhdhlúite Cánacha, 1997 arna leasú agus reachtaíocht ghaolmhar eile. Tá beirt Choimisinéirí Achomhairc ann faoi láthair, a cheapann an tAire Airgeadais ar feadh tréimhse seacht mbliana.

Is é an príomhathrú a tháinig ar an bpróiseas achomhairc cánach ná an ceanglas go ndéantar gach achomharc (seachas dleachtanna custam agus achomhairc i leith Cáin Chláraithe “ar an gcéad chéim”) go díreach leis an CAC, seachas leis na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim sa chéad ásc.

Tá freagracht aonair ar na Coimisinéirí Achomhairc as achomhairc a ghlacadh nó a dhiúltú, cé gur féidir leis na Coimisinéirí Ioncaim aighneachtaí i leith achomharc a thabhairt chun solais. Má chomhaontaíonn an dá pháirtí, féadfaidh na Coimisinéirí Achomhairc cinntiúcháin a dhéanamh bunaithe ar aighneachtaí scríofa (seachas éisteacht iomlán). Féadfaidh tú seasamh air go gcuirfear éisteacht ar bun, más mian leat, áfach.

Cuirtear gach éisteacht ar bun go poiblí trí mhainneachtain. Féadfaidh tú a iarraidh, áfach, go gcuirtear éisteacht (nó cuid d’éisteacht) ar bun go príobháideach. Chun feabhas a chur ar thrédhearcacht an phróisis achomhairc, tá ar na Coimisinéirí Achomhairc leaganacha dá gcinntiúcháin go léir gan ainmneacha a lua leo. Athrú suntasach eile is ea nach féidir athéisteacht le hachomhairc a thuilleadh os comhair breitheamh na Cúirte Cuarda. Féadfaidh tú achomharc a dhéanamh leis an Ard-Chúirt ar phointe dlí, ach ní féidir leat amhlaidh a dhéanamh maidir leis na fíricí.

New TravelWise app

TravelWise is a new free smartphone app from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The app includes travel advice and consular information on 200 countries, including security, local laws, entry requirements, health and emergency contacts. All content, once downloaded, is available offline including key emergency contact details – without the need for a data connection abroad and without incurring roaming charges.

You can also opt to receive security alerts. Alerts will only be sent on major changes in the overall security status or in the event of a specific crisis or emergency.

You can use the app to register with the local Irish Embassy or Consulate. The Department can contact registered people during an unforeseen crisis such as a natural disaster or civil unrest in order to ensure you are safe, keep you informed of developments and provide assistance where necessary.

You can download the free TravelWise app on iOS and Android.