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.

 

 

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.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance 2016

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance helps you with the cost of clothing and other expenses for children in school.

To qualify you must be getting certain social welfare payments and your child/ren must be aged between 4 and 17 on or before 30 September 2016. If they are aged between 18 and 22 they must be in second-level education.

Many people will get an automatic payment from the Department of Social Protection. You will be informed by letter if you qualify for an automatic payment. If you do not get an automatic payment you must apply for the Allowance.

Letters will issue in the week ending 10 June informing families of their entitlement and notifying them of their expected payment. This payment will be made during the week ending 15 July.

Application forms are available online (pdf) and in all social welfare offices from 10 June. You can also request a form online, via SMS (text Form BTSCFA followed by the name and address to 51909) or by emailing the Department at BSCFA@welfare.ie.

Read more about the scheme on citizensinformation.ie.

Good luck to all Leaving and Junior certificate candidates

The written Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations start today, Wednesday 8 June 2016.  The examinations run until Thursday 23 June for Junior Certificate subjects and Friday 24 June for Leaving Certificate subjects. The written examinations in the Leaving Certificate Applied programme finish on Thursday 16 June. The results of the Leaving Certificate examinations will be available on Wednesday 17 August 2016. Results of the Junior Certificate will be available in mid-September 2016.

You can visit the State Examinations Commission for updates and information and to see the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate timetables.