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Know your rights: Frontier Worker Permit

I live in Ireland but travel to work in Northern Ireland every day. Do I have to apply for a Frontier Worker Permit to continue working there?

You are a cross border worker (also called a frontier worker). This is a person who lives in one country and works in another, returning to the country they live in at least once a week. For example, a person who lives in Ireland and travels to work in Northern Ireland is a cross border worker.

After Brexit, the UK introduced rules that affect EU citizens who work in Northern Ireland (and the rest of the UK). However, these rules do not apply to Irish citizens.

Irish and British citizens have the right to live and work in both Ireland and the UK because both countries are part of the Common Travel Area. Common Travel Area rights only apply to Irish and UK citizens, and not to citizens of other countries who live in Ireland or the UK.

So, if you are an Irish citizen you do not need a Frontier Worker Permit.

However, if you are an EU citizen who was a cross border worker before 1 January 2021, you must apply for a Frontier Worker Permit to continue working there after 30 June 2021. You can apply for the permit online. There is no charge for a Frontier Worker Permit.

If you became a cross border worker after 31 December 2020, you are not eligible for the Frontier Worker Permit. You must apply for permission to work in the UK as part of the UK’s Points Based Immigration System.

EU citizens who live in Northern Ireland and work in Ireland do not need to apply for permission to work in Ireland. You must apply for UK residence through the EU Settlement Scheme (if you were living in the UK before the end of 2020) or the Points Based Immigration Scheme (if you have moved there since the beginning of 2021).

You can find out more about cross border workers on citizensinformation.ie.


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Littering

I regularly walk near my home and I’ve recently noticed a lot of rubbish on the paths. Is there anything I can do about it?

Littering in an open or public place is an offence. Your local authority is responsible for keeping public places under their control, clear of litter. If you notice illegal dumping, you should report it to your local authority, or call the 24-hour National Environmental Complaints Line on 1850 365 121. The local authority will investigate your complaint and take action if necessary. If the local authority can find out who owns the rubbish, the owner can be prosecuted, even if they haven’t been caught in the act of dumping.

Local authority litter wardens and Gardaí can impose penalties for littering. People who litter can get an on-the-spot fine of €150, or if convicted they can get a maximum fine of €4,000.

If you own or are responsible for somewhere that is open to the public, it is your responsibility to keep it litter-free. This includes public parks, bus and train stations and school campuses. If you are a dog owner and do not remove your dog’s waste from public places and dispose of it properly, you can be prosecuted in the District Court.

You should contact your local authority to get more information on anti-littering campaigns or projects in your area.


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Inheritance rights of cohabiting couples

My partner and I have two young children together. We live together but we are not married and haven’t got around to making our wills. If something happened to one of us, would we automatically be entitled to each other’s estate?

It is important for you and your partner to discuss the matter of inheritance sooner rather than later. Because you are not married, neither of you is automatically entitled to inherit anything from the other. If your partner dies without a will, you have no right to any share of their estate no matter how long you have been together. So, for example, if you live with your partner but they own the house, you could be left in very difficult circumstances if they were to die unexpectedly.

If you own items jointly, these automatically pass to you and are not part of your partner’s estate. However, you might need to pay Capital Acquisitions Tax if the inheritance is above a certain threshold or value.  

If your partner has not made a will or has not provided for you, you may be able to apply to the courts to provide for you from your partner’s estate. This is known as the redress scheme for cohabiting couples. If you get redress by a court under this scheme, you may be exempt from paying Capital Acquisition Tax.

However, making a will can ensure that proper arrangements are made for you and your dependants and that any property is distributed in the way you both wish, subject to certain rights of spouses and children. Tax planning advice can help reduce or minimise the amount of tax your partner or family must pay. A solicitor can help you draft a will or you can draft one yourself.

You can read more about inheritance rights of cohabiting couples on citizensinformation.ie


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Applying for a student grant

I’m doing my Leaving Certificate this year and plan to go to college in the autumn. How do I apply for a student grant?

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) awards higher and further education grants to people living in Ireland.

You complete an application form online to apply to SUSI. You must have an online account with SUSI before you can make your application. SUSI accepts grant applications for the 2021-2022 academic year from 22 April 2021.

You can use SUSI’s eligibility reckoner to see whether you meet the criteria for student grant funding.

These include:

  • You must be an Irish, UK, EU, EEA or Swiss national. You may also be considered for a grant if you have refugee status, subsidiary protection or leave to remain in Ireland.
  • You must have been ordinarily resident in Ireland for three of the last five years.
  • Your family’s means must be under the specified threshold for the previous tax year (2020). If you or your family have had a change of circumstances during the tax year, your changed circumstances may be taken into account.

You must be attending a course that is approved for a student grant. You can see the list of approved institutions and courses on SUSI’s website.

If you are refused a grant or are approved a grant at a rate that you don’t think applies to your situation, you can appeal the decision in writing to SUSI. You must appeal within 30 days of getting your decision.

If you are living in direct provision or are in the international protection system, you can apply for support under the Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers

You can read more about the Student Grant Scheme on  citizensinformation.ie.


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Emergency medical card

What is an emergency medical card and how do I apply for one?

An emergency medical card is a medical card that you can get without a means test in certain emergency situations.

You can get an emergency medical card if you:

  • Have a terminal illness and have been told you have 24 months or less to live
  • Are getting end-of-life treatment
  • Need urgent ongoing care and urgently need a medical card

Only a healthcare professional (for example, a doctor or consultant) can apply for an emergency medical card for you. They will send the application to the HSE.

If your application is approved, it can take up to 10 days to get your medical card in the post. However, your card will be active within 24 hours of your application being processed.  Your GP, pharmacy and hospital staff will see your card is active on their systems. This means you can access medical card services while you wait for your card in the post.

If you get a medical card because you have a terminal illness and have been told you have 24 months or less to live, the HSE will never review your card and your card will never expire.

If you get a medical card because you are receiving end-of-life treatment, the HSE will never review your card and your card will never expire. End-of-life treatment means you have been told you have less than 12 months left to live.

If you get a medical card because you need urgent ongoing care and urgently need a medical card, your card will expire after 6 months. You will need to complete a means assessment before your emergency medical card expires. The HSE will write to you to remind you to do this.

You can get more information from the National Medical Card Unit on (051) 595 129, or lo-call 1890 252 919 or you can contact your local Citizens Information Centre.

You can read more about emergency medical cards on citizensinformation.ie


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Parent’s leave

I am due to have a baby in three months and have arranged to take maternity leave. Am I entitled to any more paid leave to look after the baby?

Parent’s leave is a statutory entitlement for parents that allows each parent 5 weeks paid leave for a child born or adopted on or after 1 November 2019.  It aims to let working parents spend more time with their child.

It must be taken within 2 years of the birth of a child or in the case of adoption, from the date of placement of the child. If you have enough PRSI contributions, you get a weekly Parent’s Benefit payment of €245 from the Department of Social Protection during parent’s leave.

You can take parent’s leave in one 5-week block or in 5 one-week periods.You can visit citizensinformation.ie to find more about parent’s leave.

Parent’s leave is different to parental leave. Parental leave is unpaid and can be taken up until the child’s 12th birthday.

Summary of leave available for parents

Leave Who gets it? How long? Is it paid?
Maternity leave Female employees   26 weeks and up to 16 unpaid weeks Yes, Maternity Benefit is paid for 26 weeks
Adoptive leave One parent of an adopting couple or a parent adopting alone. 24 weeks and up to 16 unpaid weeks Yes, Adoptive Benefit is paid for 24 weeks
Paternity leave A parent of a child under 6 months of age (usually the father or partner of the mother, or in the case of adoption, the parent who is not taking adoptive leave) 2 weeks Yes, Paternity Benefit is paid for 2 weeks
Parental leave Parents and guardians of children under 12 26 weeks No, it’s unpaid
Parent’s leave Parents of children under 2 years of age (or in first 2 years of adoption placement) 5 weeks Yes, Parent’s Benefit can be paid for 5 weeks

You can read more about family leave and benefit on citizensinformation.ie


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: School Transport Scheme

My daughter is starting secondary school in September and we live 5 kilometres from her school. Am I eligible for the School Transport Scheme?

You may qualify for the School Transport Scheme. The scheme provides subsidised school transport for both post-primary and primary pupils. Bus Éireann runs the school bus service and the Department of Education decides the annual fares.

The service is only provided where there are at least 10 eligible pupils in a distinct locality that can be economically serviced by a bus route. Even when a pupil meets the age and distance criteria for school transport, there is no legal entitlement to it.

Your daughter is eligible for the Post-Primary School Transport Scheme if she is attending her nearest school and lives 4.8 kilometres or more from the school. The Department and Bus Éireann determine the appropriate nearest school with regard to ethos and language.

Parents must arrange to bring their child to the nearest pick-up point on the bus route. Generally, bus routes are organised so that no pupil has more than 3.2 kilometres to travel to a pick-up point.

There is a single annual charge of €350 per pupil. However, a family does not pay more than €650 per year. In 2021, the charge is due to be paid in full by the end of July or else in 2 instalments: by the end of July and by 26 November. Pupils who are eligible for school transport and who hold a valid medical card are entitled to free school transport to the nearest school.

Since your child is enrolling in post-primary school for the first time, you should either apply for school transport online or download the form on Bus Éireann’s website. Applications are now being accepted for the 2021-2022 school year. Applications for the school transport scheme 2021-2022 close on Friday, 30 April 2021.

You can read more about the School Transport Scheme on citizensinformation.ie.


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Treatment Benefit Scheme

A work colleague told me that there is a payment to help with the cost of my hearing aids. How do I get this?

You can get help with the cost of your hearing aids under the Treatment Benefit Scheme run by the Department of Social Protection.

From 27 March 2021, you can get the full cost of a hearing aid up to a maximum of €500 or €1000 for a pair. Before this date, you had to pay at least half the cost of a hearing aid and repairs.

For example, if a hearing aid costs €600, you now only pay €100 for one aid or €200 for a pair. The scheme also covers the full cost of repairs to aids, up to a maximum of €100.

The Treatment Benefit Scheme is available to workers (both employees and self-employed) and retired people who have enough social insurance (PRSI) contributions.  The amount of PRSI contributions that you need depends on your age. You can find out more about the PRSI contributions you need on citizensinformation.ie.

If you do not have enough PRSI contributions of your own, you may be able to qualify using your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant’s PRSI record. In this case, you must have been dependent on them before you started work or your gross income must be €100 or less per week. You are not classified as a dependent if you are getting certain social welfare payments.

You should check your eligibility for the Treatment Benefit Scheme before buying your hearing aids.  Your audiologist or hearing aid provider can do this for you.

To find out if you qualify for the Scheme, your hearing aid provider or audiologist will need some information about you, such as your date of birth and your PPS number. Before your treatment, you will need to sign a consent form agreeing to them having your information and giving it to the Department of Social Protection.

If you are claiming as a dependant on the PRSI record of your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant both you and your spouse or partner will need to sign the consent form.

There are also dental benefits and optical benefits available under the Treatment Benefit Scheme.

You can read more about the Treatment Benefit Scheme on citizensinformation.ie


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo.

You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: Partial Capacity Benefit

I am getting Invalidity Pension and I’d like to go back to work. I can’t work full-time because of my disability and this will affect my earnings. Is there any support available?

The Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB) scheme allows you to return to work or self-employment and continue to get a social welfare payment. There is no restriction on what you can earn or the number of hours you can work.

You must get written approval from the Department of Social Protection before you start work.  You should also get approval from your doctor.

To qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit:

  • You must have been getting Illness Benefit (for at least 6 months) or Invalidity Pension.
  • The restriction on your capacity for work must be assessed as moderate, severe, or profound by the Department of Social Protection. If it is assessed as mild, you do not qualify.

When you apply, the Department of Social Protection assesses your medical condition and its restriction on your capacity for work. You get a percentage of your personal rate of Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension payment depending on your capacity for work.

If your capacity is assessed as:

  • Profound –  you get 100% of the payment
  • Severe – you get 75% of the payment
  • Moderate – you get 50% of the payment

If you are coming from Invalidity Pension, your Partial Capacity Benefit will continue for a maximum of 3 years (156 weeks). However, you can apply for PCB again. You will be reassessed by the Department to determine if you qualify for the scheme.

If you are coming from Illness Benefit, your Partial Capacity Benefit payment will last as long as you have an underlying entitlement to Illness Benefit.

If you get Partial Capacity Benefit it may affect other secondary benefits you are getting from the Department of Social Protection.

You can find out more about Partial Capacity Benefit on citizensinformation.ie.


During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

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Guímid gach rath oraibh ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig.

Seachtain na Gaeilge ag teacht chun deiridh inniu agus tá súil againn gur bhaint sibh taitneamh as roinnt de na himeachtaí. Is féile idirnáisiúnta is mó so domhain í, atá ag ceiliúradh dár dteanga agus dár gcultúr dúchais.

Is deis iontach é freisin, Ghaeilge a úsáid. Tá súil againn go raibh seans agaibh Gaeilge a labhairt le do chomhghleacaithe agus le do chairde.

Ná déan dearmad, cuirimid faisnéis ar fáil, i mBéarla agus i nGaeilge, ar citizensinformation.ie.

Bíodh lá aoibhinn agaibh.

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Everyone at Citizens Information Board wishes you all the best on St. Patrick’s Day.

Seachtain na Gaeilge comes to an end today and we hope you enjoyed the various activities. It is the largest international festival in the world to celebrate our national language and culture. It is also a great opportunity to use Irish. We hope you had the chance to speak Irish with your colleagues and friends. Don’t forget, we provide information in English and Irish on citizensinformation.ie.

Enjoy the day.