For World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2018, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is focusing on the trafficking of children and young people. The campaign aims to highlight the fact that almost a third of trafficking victims are children.
For World Hepatitis Day 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) is highlighting the urgent need for hepatitis testing and treatment
This year, WHO is focusing particularly on hepatitis B and C, which lead to 1.34 million deaths every year.
You can now renew your driving licence or learner permit online.
You cannot apply online if:
- Your current driving licence or learner permit is valid for more than 3 months
- You have a truck or bus category on your licence
- You are aged 70 or over
- You are applying for your third or subsequent learner permit
- You need to get a medical report to renew your driving licence because of a medical condition
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has introduced new claim forms and medical certificates for Illness and Injury Benefit.
Since 23 July 2018, a new claim form (IB1) and medical certificate (MED1) should be used in place of the MC1 and MC2.
I’m in my 70s and live alone. Is it there any support available to help me with my household running costs?
Answer (June 2018)
The Household Benefits Package may help with the costs of running your household. The package is available to everyone aged over 70 and to some people under 70. It is paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP).
The package includes an electricity or gas allowance and a Free Television Licence. The electricity or gas allowance pays €35 per month (€1.15 per day) towards the cost of either your electricity or gas supply (you cannot get an allowance for both). It is paid to your bank or post office account or as a credit on your bill. You can get the Free Television Licence from the next renewal date of your licence after you qualify for the package.
Only one person in a household can qualify for the package. You must be living in the State all year round, and you will need to show that you are the registered gas or electricity consumer, for example, by providing a utility bill.
People aged between 66 and70 may also qualify if they are getting a qualifying payment, such as the State Pension. If they are not getting a qualifying payment, they must satisfy a means test. You qualify if you are getting Carer’s Allowance and providing full-time care to a person you are living with. You may also qualify if you are getting certain social welfare payments and living alone or living with certain people, for example, a qualified adult or child or with someone who would qualify for the allowance in their own right.
To apply, use form HB1 (pdf) from welfare.ie. The form is also available from your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office or from your nearest Citizens Information Service.
The Low Pay Commission has recommended increasing the minimum wage by 25 cent per hour, from €9.55 to €9.80.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) is experiencing delays processing the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA). These delays are due to a combination of technical problems with payments and a high volume of new applications being received. You can call the DEASP on (071) 919 3318 to ask about your application for the allowance.
Farm Safety Week 2018 takes place this week 16 – 20 July 2018.
This year’s campaign aims to highlight good working practice on the farm. The theme is: Your Health. Your safety. Your choice.
Irish Water has introduced night-time water restrictions in the Greater Dublin Area.
The current restrictions see water pressure being reduced overnight from 10pm to 5am. During these hours you may experience low water pressure, but you should not lose your water supply completely.
I am 18 and flying to Spain for a holiday this summer. Can I use a passport card when travelling to Spain, and how do I apply for one?
Answer (May 2018)
The Irish passport card is a credit-card sized Irish passport. You can use it for travel within the European Union, the European Economic Area (which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland. So, you will be able to use it when going to Spain this summer.
You must be aged 18 or over to apply for a passport card. You must also hold a valid Irish passport that is not due to expire in the next 3 months.
The personal details you provide when applying must be exactly the same as those on your passport book.
The passport card is valid for a maximum of 5 years or until your passport book expires, whichever period is shorter.
If you plan to use your passport card when travelling, you must use the passport card number when checking in online.
The passport card costs €35. If you are applying from outside Ireland, there is an additional delivery cost of €5.
You can apply for a passport card online on dfa.ie. When making the application you need:
- Your current passport book
- Your digital photograph (see the detailed guidelines on dfa.ie)
- A valid email address
- A debit card or credit card
When you submit your application online, you are issued with an 11-digit application number. You can track your application’s progress on the Department’s website using the application number.
Find out more about passport cards on dfa.ie.