Air passenger rights

Under European law, air passengers have specific consumer rights if a flight is cancelled or delayed or if they are denied boarding.

The website flightrights.ie provides information about your rights and entitlements in these situations.

Flightrights.ie is a website of the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

Donegal flooding: financial assistance for farmers

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is making financial assistance available to farmers affected by the recent flooding in the Inishowen area of Donegal.

Details of this “DAFM Flood Damage Relief Measure” are on the application form, which is on the Department’s website.

Completed applications must reach the Department by Friday 29 September 2017.

(This scheme is separate from the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme being run by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.)

Redesign of Citizensinformation.ie

We have been working on a project to redesign and refresh Citizensinformation.ie, to give the site a more modern look and feel. We plan to switch over to the new design later today (Thursday).

Users of the site may experience a few minutes of downtime during the switchover. We will do our best to make sure that any such downtime is as short as possible.

Know Your Rights: Fuel Allowance

Question

Who qualifies for Fuel Allowance and how is it paid?

Answer

Fuel Allowance is paid under the National Fuel Scheme, operated by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. It is intended to help people who are dependent on long-term social welfare payments and who are unable to meet their heating needs. The fuel season for 2017–2018 starts on Monday 2 October 2017.

Under the scheme, a Fuel Allowance of €22.50 per week is generally paid with your social welfare payment. For the 2017–2018 fuel season, the total allowance of €585 can be paid in two equal lump sums, one at the start of the season in October and the second in January. To avail of this payment option, you must complete the form FA CPF 1 which is available from your local post office or social welfare office. You can also get this form by texting FORM FUELCHANGE, followed by your name and address, to 51909. To get the lump sum in October 2017, you must submit your completed form before 15 September 2017. If you submit your form after this date there is no guarantee that you will receive the lump sum in October, but your weekly payment will continue until the January lump sum is issued.

Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment. If you are getting a non-contributory social welfare payment, you are accepted as satisfying the means test.

You must live alone or with someone who also qualifies for the allowance – you cannot get the allowance if you live with someone who does not qualify. Where two or more people living in the same household qualify for the allowance, only one allowance is paid. If your heating needs are met in other ways (for example, if you live in local authority housing where heating is provided), you do not qualify for Fuel Allowance.

If you think you are eligible, you should apply immediately because  the allowance will not be backdated after the start of the fuel season in October. The application form for Fuel Allowance (NFS1) is available at your post office or social welfare office, or by texting FORM FUEL followed by your name and address to 51909.

Flooding in Donegal

The Department of Social Protection has activated its Humanitarian Assistance Scheme to assist people whose homes have been damaged by the recent severe weather flooding in Donegal.

The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is a means-tested payment which can provide emergency income support as well as payments towards damage to the homes of those affected by the recent flooding.

You can read more about the scheme on the Department of Social Protection’s website.

Renting out a room in your home

If you rent out a room (or rooms) in your home to private tenants, any rental income you earn will be exempt from income tax, PRSI and Universal Social Charge, provided this income does not exceed €14,000 in the tax year. This is called the rent-a-room relief.

The relief applies only to residential tenancies, not to short-term guest arrangements. Your tenants must be using the room on a long-term basis. For example, renting a room to a student for the academic year is covered, but taking in guests for short breaks is not.

Read more about rent-a-room relief.