Getting through airport security

If you are travelling by air this summer, being prepared can help you avoid delays while passing through airport security.

When packing your hand luggage, do not pack any of these prohibited items. You can only bring liquids in hand luggage if they are in containers of 100ml or less, packed in a transparent, re-sealable 1-litre plastic bag.

Airport security staff will examine laptops and other large electrical items separately to your hand luggage. When packing, you should try to make these items easy to access.

While you can bring most things in your checked baggage, for transport in the aircraft’s hold, you cannot bring any of these prohibited articles.

Dublinairport.com has a security checklist to help you get through security quicker and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Renting out a room in your home

If you rent out a room to a private tenant, the rental income you earn may be exempt from income tax. This is called the rent-a-room relief.

You can claim rent-a-room relief as long as the rental income you earn does not exceed a certain limit in a tax year. Currently, the total (gross) rent that you get, including sums the tenant pays for food, utilities, laundry or similar goods and services, cannot exceed €14,000 in the tax year (1 January to 31 December).

If you qualify for rent-a-room relief, the income you get from renting out the room is not liable to PRSI, the Universal Social Charge or income tax.

You should note that the relief applies only to residential tenancies, not to short-term guest arrangements. Renting a room to a student for the academic year or for a one-month course is covered, but you don’t qualify if you are providing accommodation to occasional visitors for short periods – for example, through an online accommodation booking site.

Read more about renting out a room in your home.

Benefit of Work Estimator

The Benefit of Work Estimator is an online resource for people who are getting certain disability or illness payments. It is provided by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

The estimator allows you to calculate how income from employment would affect your disability or illness payment.

You enter details of your household circumstances, your current social welfare payment and the wages that you will get from work. The estimator then calculates your new social welfare rate and estimates your total income after starting work.

If you are already working, you can use the estimator to calculate how working extra hours would affect your payment.

You can use the Benefit of Work Estimator on mywelfare.ie and read more about it on welfare.ie

Free EU rail travel for 18-year-olds this summer

The Discover EU initiative is offering free rail travel to 15,000 young EU citizens over summer 2018. (Travel by ferry or bus will also be covered.)

Under this initiative, you get a travel pass which allows you to travel for up to 30 days and visit up to 4 different EU countries. The passes are valid for travel between 9 July and 30 September 2018.

To be eligible, you must be 18 years of age on 1 July 2018 and be a citizen of an EU member state.

The online applications are open from 12 to 26 June 2018.

Read more in these FAQs.

Funding for creative activities

The Creative Ireland Programme Scheme 2018-2019 provides funding for a range of cultural and creative activities.

There are three themes:

  • Individual and collective wellbeing
  • Innovation
  • Connecting communities

Projects, events and research activities related to these themes are eligible for funding.

Individuals, community groups, small businesses, non-profit organisations and research bodies can apply. The scheme guidelines (pdf) include information about how to complete the application form (.doc).

Your proposed activities must cost between €10,000 and €70,000. You can apply for a maximum grant of 70% of the total cost of your project.

Applications for the 2018-2019 scheme close at midnight on 15 June 2018.

Read more about the scheme on creative.ireland.ie.

 

Carer’s Support Grant will be paid on Thursday

The Carer’s Support Grant for 2018 will be paid on Thursday 7 June.

The grant is an annual payment made to carers by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Carers can use the grant in whatever way they wish.

In 2018 the grant will be €1,700. It is paid automatically to carers getting Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance. If you are not getting one of these payments, you should fill in an application form CSG 1 (pdf) in respect of each person you are caring for.

Read more about the Carer’s Support Grant.

Information for exam students

You can get information about the Junior and Leaving Certificate exams on the State Examinations Commission’s website examinations.ie.

There will be regular updates throughout the exam period, 6 June to 22 June 2018.  

During this period, staff will be available to deal with queries from 8.30 am to 9 pm on exam days and from 9.30 am to 1 pm at weekends. The phone number for all enquiries is 090 644 2700.

Read more on education.ie.

Know Your Rights: Carer’s Support Grant

Question

I’m a full-time carer and getting Carer’s Allowance. Last year I got a Carer’s Support Grant – will I get it again this year?

Answer (May 2018)

The Carer’s Support Grant is an annual payment made to full-time carers. The payment for 2018 is €1,700. It is paid on the first Thursday of June each year.

If you are still getting a carer’s payment on the first Thursday in June, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) will pay the grant to you automatically, and you don’t need to apply.

People getting Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance are paid the grant automatically. Full-time carers who are not getting one of these payments need to apply to the DEASP (unless they got the grant last year, in which case the Department will contact them about this year’s payment).

To qualify, you must be ordinarily resident in the State and caring for someone on a full-time basis for at least six months (including the first Thursday in June) and living with the person being cared for (or, if not, be contactable quickly by a direct system of communication, for example, telephone or alarm). The person you are caring for must not normally live in a hospital, convalescent home or similar establishment.

You won’t qualify if you are working, studying or training for more than 15 hours a week, getting Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit or signing on for credits.

To apply, fill in one application form (form CSG1) for each person being cared for (a grant may be paid for each person). Forms are available on welfare.ie. You can apply for the 2018 grant until 31 December 2019.

Further information is available from your nearest Citizens Information Service

Safety on farms

The Health and Safety Authority is seeking to raise awareness of vehicle and machine safety on farms.

Farm vehicles and machinery are the main cause of serious accidents on Irish farms. Over the last 10 years, half of all fatal farm accidents involved either farm vehicles (30%) or machinery (20%). There has been a notable increase in the number of fatal accidents involving quad bikes, with 12 reported in the past 10 years (4 in 2017 alone).

Read about safe use of farm vehicles and machinery on HSA.ie.

Public holiday entitlements

Monday 4 June 2018 is a public holiday.

Most employees are entitled to paid leave on public holidays and will qualify for one of the following:

  • A paid day off on the public holiday
  • An additional day of annual leave
  • An additional day’s pay
  • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday

If you work part-time, your public holiday entitlements are different – find out more in our document on public holidays.