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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.

Collecting your welfare payments – June Bank Holiday Arrangements 2018

Monday 4 June is a bank holiday. The offices of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and all post offices will be closed on this date.

Jobseekers who are due to sign at their local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office on Monday 4 June will not have to do so. Normal signing arrangements will apply for the rest of the week.

Read about alternative payment arrangements on welfare.ie.

Referendum – what happens next?

In the referendum held on 25 May 2018, a majority of voters approved a proposal to replace Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution with the text “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy”.

A provisional certificate stating the referendum result was published in Iris Oifigiúil (pdf) (the State Gazette) on 29 May 2018. If no petition challenging the result is presented to the High Court within 7 days of its publication, the certificate becomes final. The President will then sign the Bill to change the Constitution and the Constitution will be amended.

The amendment will allow the Oireachtas to pass laws regulating the termination of pregnancy. The Government has published an outline of the legislation that it plans to introduce (pdf).

Until new legislation is enacted, there is no change to the current legal situation. Abortion remains illegal in Ireland, except where there is a real and substantial risk to the life (as distinct from the health) of the mother.

Read more about this topic.

New Telephone Support Allowance (TSA)

The Telephone Support Allowance is a new payment of €2.50 a week for people who are getting both the Living Alone Increase and the Fuel Allowance along with their social welfare payment. It aims to help with the cost of communications and/or home alert systems.

The TSA will be paid from 4 June 2018 onwards. As this allowance will be paid automatically to people who qualify, you do not need to apply for it.

There are useful FAQs about the Telephone Support Allowance on welfare.ie.

Know Your Rights: Household Benefits Package

Question

I’m in my 70s and live alone. Is it there any support available to help me with my household running costs?

Answer (May 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 and 70 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.