If you are entitled to public health services in Ireland, you can access those health services in another European Union country and be repaid the cost if you meet certain requirements.
The amount that can be refunded is the cost of the public healthcare in Ireland, or the cost of your treatment abroad, if that is less. It does not include other costs such as travel.
Read more about the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive.
The Citizens Information Phone Service (0761 07 4000) is open today from 9am to 8pm.
The offices of the Citizens Information Board have also re-opened.
Due to the status red weather warning currently in effect, the Citizens Information Phone Service (0761 07 4000) will be closed today, Monday 16 October.
The offices of the Citizens Information Board will also be closed today. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
I will need to take time out from work to provide full-time care for my father. What is available for people in my situation?
Answer (September 2017)
There are several entitlements available to you. In order for you to qualify, the person you are caring for (your father) must be in need of full-time care and attention.
If you are working at present and will be taking time off to care, you may be eligible for carer’s leave of up to 2 years. You must have worked for your employer for a continuous period of 12 months to qualify for this leave.
While you are on carer’s leave, you are entitled to get credited social insurance contributions to maintain your PRSI record.
You are entitled to annual leave and public holidays in respect of the first 13 weeks of carer’s leave. Your employer cannot dismiss you or victimise you for exercising your right to carer’s leave.
You may also be entitled to Carer’s Benefit from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, if you have enough PRSI contributions to qualify.
If you do not qualify for Carer’s Benefit, you may qualify for a means-tested Carer’s Allowance. If you get Carer’s Allowance, you may be entitled to a Free Travel Pass. If you live with the person you are caring for, you may also qualify for the Household Benefits Package.
There is also an annual Carer’s Support Grant of €1,700, formerly known as the Respite Care Grant, which is paid to full-time carers in June each year. Even if you are not getting any other social welfare payment, you can qualify for this grant if you fulfil the conditions.
The Budget for 2018 was announced on Tuesday, 10 October 2017.
Read our document providing an overview of the main changes.
I have been recommended to get a flu vaccination. Can I get it for free?
Answer (September 2017)
Influenza, usually known as the flu, is highly infectious and anyone can get it. However some groups are at greater risk of complications if they get the flu. This includes people over the age of 65, pregnant women and people who have a chronic medical condition.
The flu vaccine can help protect you from getting the flu. The flu virus changes every year and this is why there is a new vaccine each year. Vaccination is strongly recommended if you:
- Are aged 65 and over
- Have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease
- Have an impaired immune system due to disease or treatment
- Have a body mass index (BMI) over 40
- Are pregnant
- Live in a nursing home or other long-stay institution
- Are a carer or a healthcare worker
- Have regular contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs
You can get the vaccine from your GP (family doctor) or pharmacist. Children can get the vaccine from a GP.
The vaccine itself is free of charge if you are in one of the recommended groups.
However, doctors and pharmacists may charge a consultation fee when they give you the vaccine.
If you have a medical card or GP visit card, you can get the vaccine without being charged a consultation fee.
National Fire Safety Week runs from Monday 2nd October to Monday 9th October.
The theme for 2017 is “STOP Fire – Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives”.
Read more on firesafetyweek.ie.