Know your rights – September 2014

citizens information

Know Your Rights A: After-School Child Care Scheme

September 2014

Question

I’m unemployed and want to get back to work but my son is in primary school, which makes it difficult to be available all day for work or training. Can I get help with childcare for after-school hours?

Answer

If you go on an employment support scheme, go back to work or increase the number of days you work, you may be able to avail of the After-School Child Care Scheme. The scheme provides subsidised after-school childcare places with local childcare providers and is for primary school children aged 4 to 13.

 

To qualify for the scheme you must be getting Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or One-Parent Family Payment, or be on an employment support programme, for at least three months.

 

If you get a place, you can get after-school childcare for up to five days a week at a daily rate of €3 per child. The scheme includes a pick-up service. You can get up to 52 weeks of childcare while you remain eligible for the scheme. If you use the scheme during the school year, you can also get up to 10 weeks’ full-time childcare during the holidays.

 

You can apply and get more information at your local Intreo centre or social welfare office. You can apply up to 26 weeks after you start your new job, take up additional employment or start your employment support scheme.

 

The scheme is not available to Community Employment scheme participants who can apply for the CE Childcare Programme instead.

 

For vocational training with an Education and Training Board, the Childcare Education and Training Support Programme offers subsidised childcare.

 

If you don’t qualify for these schemes you may be eligible for the Community Childcare Subvention Programme, which offers childcare at a reduced cost to parents who are disadvantaged or in training, education or low paid work.

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 B: Importing a car

September 2014

Question

I’m living in Ireland but I want to buy a second-hand car in the UK. What steps do I have to take when I bring the car to Ireland?

Answer

Within seven days of bringing the car to Ireland you must make an appointment to bring the car to your local National Car Testing Service (NCTS) centre in order to register it and pay Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT). See ncts.ie to book an appointment and for details of the documents you need to bring with you.

 

The car will be examined at the NCTS centre and the details will be used by Revenue to assess the amount of VRT payable, based on the value of the car. Revenue provides an online VRT Calculator that you can use to get an estimate of how much you will have to pay, see revenue.ie. You pay the VRT to the NCTS. You must complete the registration process within 30 days of the vehicle’s arrival in Ireland.

 

You will get a receipt for the VRT paid, showing the new registration number for your car. You must display this number on your car within three days. You can buy registration number plates at the NCTS centre or at a motor factors.

 

You will also get Form RF100, which you will need when you pay motor tax. To pay motor tax, you will also need to insure the car and have your insurance details. You can pay motor tax online at motortax.ie or at the Motor Taxation Office of your local authority.

 

After you have paid the motor tax, the Vehicle Registration Certificate will be issued to you by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

 

If the car is four years old or more it must also undergo the National Car Test immediately.

 

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: Maternity Benefit

September 2014

Question

I was employed when I had my first child and got Maternity Benefit. I’m currently expecting my second child but I’m now self-employed – am I still entitled to Maternity Benefit?

Answer

Maternity Benefit is paid to women who are on maternity leave from work and are covered by social insurance (PRSI). This includes Class S social insurance which is paid by people who are insurably self-employed. In this case you need to have one of the following:

 

  • 52 weeks’ PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on maternity leave in 2014, the relevant tax year is 2012. Or
  • 52 weeks’ PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. Or
  • 52 weeks’ PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year.

 

If you do not meet these conditions, you may be able to use your PRSI contributions from your former employment to qualify.

 

PRSI Class S contributions for a particular year are not awarded until you have paid the tax due for that year. Your income tax and PRSI liabilities (primarily for the relevant tax year) must be paid to qualify for Maternity Benefit.

 

Note that if you earn less than €5,000 in a tax year then you are not insurably self-employed. But even if you are not sure if you have enough earnings, you should always apply for Maternity Benefit to check whether you qualify.

 

If you apply before you go on maternity leave but don’t have enough earnings, you may qualify to have Maternity Benefit paid retrospectively if your earnings exceed the €5,000 threshold when you return to work.

 

You should apply at least 12 weeks before you intend to go on maternity leave.

 

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: Student grant appeals

September 2014

Question

I’ve applied for a student grant to start a college course this year but I didn’t get the grant I was expecting. What can I do?

Answer

Applications for the Student Grant Scheme are processed by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). If you are not happy with the outcome of your application, you can ask SUSI to review the decision if there has been a change in your circumstances or if you think your household income wasn’t assessed correctly. You can also request a review if you think you should get a special rate of grant or you think there was an error in assessing the distance between your home and college (which affects whether you get an adjacent or non-adjacent rate).

 

You can request a review by sending an email to [email protected], making sure to put ‘Review Request’ in the subject line along with your application number.

 

You can also make an appeal to SUSI if you are not happy with your final grant decision or if you request a review and are not satisfied with the outcome. You must make the appeal within 30 days of the final grant decision.

 

Complete the appeal form, available at susi.ie, explaining why you think SUSI applied the rules incorrectly. The Appeal Officer will notify you of the outcome within 30 days.

 

If your appeal is turned down you can submit a further appeal to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board, outlining why you believe the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in your case. When you get the written decision of the SUSI Appeal Officer it will include information on how to submit an appeal to the Student Grants Appeals Board.

 

The Board has 60 days to decide on your appeal and will write to you to let you know its decision. An appeal of this decision on a specific point of law is possible under the Student Support Act 2011, which says that such an appeal can be made to the High Court.

 

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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