Know your rights – July 2014

citizens information

Know Your Rights A: Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition payment

July 2014

Question

My One-Parent Family Payment will be stopped next month when my youngest child reaches 10 years of age. Is there another payment I can get?

Answer

You may qualify for a Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition (JST). This payment aims to support lone parents into the workforce.

You must have been getting a One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) within the 3 years before you make your claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition. You must be habitually resident in Ireland, you must be capable of work and your youngest qualified child must be at least 7 and under 14 years of age. When your youngest child turns 14 the normal Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) conditions will apply to you.

The rules for JA and JST are very similar. The means test is exactly the same and the maximum weekly rate is the same (€188). Income from work is assessed in the same way. The main differences between JA and JST are:

  • For JST, you are not obliged to be unemployed, available for full-time work and genuinely seeking work.
  • The 4-in-7 rule applying to JA does not apply to JST (you do not have to be fully unemployed for 4 out of 7 days). This means that you could work part-time for 5 days, for example.
  • You cannot cohabit with another person while you are getting JST.

To get JST you must sign a declaration every 3 months to confirm that you are still entitled to the payment. You must participate in employment activation measures and you have to participate in any recommended course of education or training. You may also be able to access childcare supports.

Further information is available from your local Intreo centre or social welfare local office, and from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Bray Citizens Information Centre 3/ 4 The Boulevard, Quinsboro Road   Tel:  0761 07 6780

Arklow Citizens Information Centre 73 Lower Main Street  Tel: 0761 07 6750

Wicklow Citizens Information Centre 9/10 Lower Mall  Tel: 0761 07 6840

Baltinglass Tel: 086 048 1880   Blessington Tel: 086 048 1881

Glendalough Tel: 0404 45611

Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Tel 0761 07 4000.

 

 

Know Your Rights B: Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

 July 2014

Question

My daughter will be 18 years old in August. Can I claim the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance for her?

Answer

If she is still in second-level education, you may be eligible for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) for her but you must apply for the Allowance and supply evidence that she is in second-level education.

 

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school.  Your children must be aged between 4 and 22 on or before 30 September 2014. If they are aged between 18 and 22 they must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.

 

You must be getting a social welfare payment or taking part in a training, employment or adult education scheme. In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child with your payment. Also, your total family income must be below a certain level for your family size. The allowance is €100 for eligible children aged between 4 and 11 and €200 for those aged between 12 and 22.

 

The scheme is open from 1 June to 30 September 2014. The Department of Social Protection pays BTSCFA automatically to many customers. This means that they do not have to apply for the payment. If you qualify automatically, you should get a letter stating when and how your Allowance will be paid. If you do not get an automatic payment you must apply for the Allowance. If any of your children are aged 18 or over you must apply for the Allowance for them and supply evidence that they are in second-level education (even if automatic payments have issued for other children in the family).

 

Application forms are available in all local social welfare offices and Intreo centres, and on the Department’s website, welfare.ie. When a decision has been made on your application you will get a letter informing you of this and whether a payment has been awarded. If your application has been successful, you will also be told when and where you can collect the payment. If the Allowance is refused you can ask for a review of the decision.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Bray Citizens Information Centre 3/ 4 The Boulevard, Quinsboro Road   Tel:  0761 07 6780

Arklow Citizens Information Centre 73 Lower Main Street  Tel: 0761 07 6750

Wicklow Citizens Information Centre 9/10 Lower Mall  Tel: 0761 07 6840

Baltinglass Tel: 086 048 1880   Blessington Tel: 086 048 1881

Glendalough Tel: 0404 45611

Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Tel 0761 07 4000.

 


Know Your Rights C: Lost passports

July 2014

Question

I am going abroad for the first time. What should I do if I lose my passport while I am travelling?

Answer

If you are an Irish citizen currently living abroad, travelling or on holiday abroad and your Irish passport is lost, stolen or misplaced, you must contact your nearest Irish embassy or consulate immediately. You will be asked to confirm the loss in writing or, if you are applying for a new passport, to include the details in your passport application.

 

You must also get in touch with the local police and report the loss of your passport. You should request a written statement that you have reported the loss of your passport to them. A member of the police authority in the country in which you are staying must witness this statement.

 

You will need this statement to get an Emergency Travel Certificate (valid for one journey) or an Emergency Passport (valid for a restricted amount of time) from an Irish embassy or consulate.

 

If you are travelling on a multi-stop journey, where you will pass through more than one jurisdiction, you will need a new Irish passport. Again, you must report the loss of your passport immediately to your nearest Irish embassy or consulate.

 

If there is no Irish embassy or consulate in the country where you are, contact the embassy of another EU member state. It will get in touch with the nearest Irish embassy on your behalf. An embassy of another EU member state cannot issue you with a new Irish passport, but can issue an Emergency Travel Document.

 

It may be useful to carry a photocopy of the personal data page of your passport with you when travelling or scan an image of that page and email it to yourself.

 

Any passport reported as lost or stolen is no longer a valid travel document and you should not try to travel on a passport which has been reported as lost or stolen.

 

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Bray Citizens Information Centre 3/ 4 The Boulevard, Quinsboro Road   Tel:  0761 07 6780

Arklow Citizens Information Centre 73 Lower Main Street  Tel: 0761 07 6750

Wicklow Citizens Information Centre 9/10 Lower Mall  Tel: 0761 07 6840

Baltinglass Tel: 086 048 1880   Blessington Tel: 086 048 1881

Glendalough Tel: 0404 45611

Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Tel 0761 07 4000.

 

 

Know Your Rights D: Buying goods on the internet

July 2014

Question

I have ordered a few presents from a Belgian website. Can I return them if I’m not happy with them when they arrive?

Answer

Since 13 June 2014, online purchases within the EU are covered by the EU Directive on Consumer Rights. Under the new Directive you are entitled to a cooling-off period of 14 days (previously 7 days). During the cooling-off period, you can cancel distance contracts without giving a reason and without incurring charges or penalties, other than possible charges incurred in returning the goods. The 14-day cooling-off period begins on the day that you receive the goods.

 

Upon cancellation, the distance seller is obliged to repay you within 14 days (previously 30 days), including delivery costs. If you choose a more expensive type of delivery than the seller’s cheapest standard delivery, you are only entitled to be refunded the cost of the cheaper delivery type.

 

The seller can withhold the repayment until the goods are returned or you supply evidence that you have sent the goods back.

 

You must send the goods back within 14 days of informing the seller of the cancellation. You have to pay for the cost of returning them unless the seller did not informe you before you ordered the goods that you would have to bear the cost.

 

The seller should have provided you with confirmation of the contract, as well as  information on aftersales and guarantees, how to cancel the contract and a postal address for complaints. If the seller did not provide you with information on your right to cancel, the cooling-off period can be extended by 12 months.

 

Cancellation may not be accepted in certain cases, for example, if the goods were made especially for you.

 

Further information is available from the European Consumer Centre and the Citizens Information Centre below.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Bray Citizens Information Centre 3/ 4 The Boulevard, Quinsboro Road   Tel:  0761 07 6780

Arklow Citizens Information Centre 73 Lower Main Street  Tel: 0761 07 6750

Wicklow Citizens Information Centre 9/10 Lower Mall  Tel: 0761 07 6840

Baltinglass Tel: 086 048 1880   Blessington Tel: 086 048 1881

Glendalough Tel: 0404 45611

Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Tel 0761 07 4000.

 

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