Know your rights May 2015

citizens information

Know Your Rights A: Back to Work Family Dividend

June 2015

Question

What is the new Back to Work Family Dividend?

Answer

The Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) scheme aims to help families to move from social welfare into employment. It gives extra financial support to people with qualified children who stop claiming a jobseeker’s payment or a one-parent family payment because they have taken up employment or self-employment.

If you qualify for the scheme you will get a weekly payment for up to 2 years. For the first year in employment you will be paid the equivalent of any Increases for Qualified Children that were being paid on your jobseeker’s or one-parent family payment (up to a maximum of 4 children). Half that amount will be paid weekly for the second year.

To qualify, you and all members of your family (including your adult dependant) must sign off all primary social welfare payments. However the Back to Work Family Dividend can be paid with Family Income Supplement (FIS) and is not taken into account in the means test for FIS. It can also be paid if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant finds work, provided you are getting an Increase for a Qualified Adult on your payment for them. However, you must meet the conditions and the Back to Work Family Dividend will be paid to you (as the recipient of the social welfare payment).

BTWFD can be paid with some non-primary social welfare payments such as Child Benefit, Rent Supplement and Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (see citizensinformation.ie for the full list). The habitual residence condition applies to BTWFD.

Applications for the scheme have been accepted since Monday 5 January 2015.The scheme became fully operational on 5 May 2015. All eligible claims are being backdated to the date of application.

 

Know Your Rights B: Selling a property and LPT

June 2015

Question

I’m selling my house. The asking price is a lot more than the valuation for Local Property Tax (LPT) on 1 May 2013. Will I be liable to pay the outstanding LPT if I sell it for the asking price or more?

Answer

In general, if you declared a valuation band or valuation on your 2013 Return honestly and in line with Revenue guidelines, this valuation will continue to apply until 31 October 2016. When you are selling your house you (or your solicitor) can use the LPT online system to get clearance from Revenue to prove that there are no outstanding LPT issues with your property.

This is known as General Clearance. However, if the expected or agreed sales price is greater than the valuation band or valuation declared on the 2013 Return, you may need to get Written Clearance from Revenue, as well as General Clearance. If you meet any of the following conditions, you don’t need to get Written Clearance:

• The sales price falls within the allowable valuation margin: In general, for houses that were valued up to €300,000 the sales price can fall into the next valuation band; for houses valued between €300,000 and €1 million the sale price can be up to 15% higher than the upper limit of the band declared and for houses over €1 million the sale price can be up to 15% higher than the declared chargeable value.

• You carried out work that enhanced the value of the property. You must have receipts and verification of how much was spent.
• You based the original valuation on sales of comparable properties. You must be able to show that you based the declared chargeable value on the valuation date on known and verifiable sale prices of comparable properties in the area.

You can read full details of the conditions in Revenue’s guidelines on the sale of properties.

You will need to get Written Clearance from Revenue if none of the above conditions are met and your declared valuation was made in good faith and in line with Revenue guidelines. You apply for Written Clearance by completing Form LPT5 and including relevant supporting documentation. Revenue will review the basis for your declared valuation and determine whether clearance should issue.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

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

June 2015

Question

I am getting Jobseeker’s Allowance and my oldest child is starting school this year. Is there a payment to help with the costs of children going to school?

Answer

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) 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 2015. If they are aged between 18 and 22 they must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.

To qualify 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. People getting Family Income Supplement and the new Back to Work Family Dividend can qualify for BTSCFA. 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 2015. 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 from June 2015 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 the Allowance 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.

 

Know Your Rights D: UK citizens and moving to live in Ireland

June 2015

Question

I am a UK citizen and I am thinking of moving to Ireland. Are there any restrictions on taking up residence?

Answer

Citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) are entitled to live in Ireland without any conditions or restrictions. Unlike the citizens of other countries, they are not subject to the Aliens Act 1935 or to any orders made under it. This means that you, as a UK citizen, do not need a visa, any form of residence permit or employment permit to live in Ireland.

In general, while living in Ireland, UK citizens are entitled to avail of public services on the same basis as Irish citizens living in Ireland. For example, UK citizens who are resident in Ireland are entitled to health services in the same way as Irish citizens who are resident. UK citizens resident in Ireland whose income is from a UK source and who do not have any income from Ireland may be entitled to a medical card regardless of their means.

Unlike other EU citizens, UK citizens may retire to Ireland without having to establish that they have sufficient resources or that they have private health insurance. UK citizens living in Ireland are eligible for social welfare payments in the same way as Irish citizens living in Ireland. However you need to meet the requirements of the habitual residence condition (in the same way as Irish citizens living in Ireland) to qualify for many means-tested social welfare payments. If you have recently moved to Ireland, you may find it more difficult to establish that your main centre of interest is in Ireland.

UK citizens living in Ireland are entitled to vote in Irish elections, with the exception of Presidential elections and referendums.

The UK government has published a short guide on gov.co.uk for UK citizens who are living in Ireland and travelling to Ireland.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Wicklow Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. See www.citizensinformation.ie for details of your local centre or phone our main office in Bray on 0761 07 6780

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

Please contact us for use of this image