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Know your rights June 2017

citizens information

Local Notes

Know your rights June 2017

Know your rights June 2017

Know Your Rights

A: Long-term illness and the State Pension

June 2017

Question

I’ve been on Illness Benefit for over a year. I don’t ever expect to be fit to return to work. As I’m now nearing pension age, will I be entitled to a full State Pension (Contributory)?

Answer

The State Pension (Contributory) is paid to people from the age of 66 who have enough social insurance contributions. To qualify, you will need to have paid 520 full-rate contributions, which is equivalent to 10 years. Illness Benefit is paid for a maximum of two years. It will end before that if you turn 66, when you may be eligible for a State Pension. You should apply for the State Pension three months before your 66th birthday.

If your entitlement to Illness Benefit ends before you reach pension age at 66 and you are likely to be permanently incapable of work, you may qualify for Invalidity Pension. To get Invalidity Pension you must have at least 260 (or five years) paid PRSI contributions and 48 contributions paid or credited in the last complete tax year before the date of your claim. The last complete tax year is the year before your claim. For example, if you claim Invalidity Pension in 2017, the last complete tax year is 2016. Note that only PRSI paid in classes A, E and H currently count.

If you get Invalidity Pension, you will automatically transfer to the State Pension (Contributory) at the full rate when you turn 66.

You will be contacted by the Department of Social Protection  before your Illness Benefit is due to stop and you will be given information about your options. If at that stage, you don’t qualify for Invalidity Pension and have a disability that is expected to last for a year or more, you may qualify for a means-tested Disability Allowance.

You can get detailed information about the State Pension and payments for people with long-term illnesses from the website of the Department of Social Protection.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

 

 

 

Know Your Rights

B: Retirement age

June 2017

Question

My employer says that I have to retire when I reach the age of 65. Can an employer make you retire at a certain age?

Answer

There is no single fixed retirement age for employees. If you are employed, your retirement age should be set out in your contract of employment. The usual retirement age in contracts of employment is 65.

Many contracts have provisions for early retirement from age 60 (or in some cases from age 55) and most have provision for early retirement on health grounds. Some occupations – for example, firefighters, An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces – have provisions for earlier retirement.

While employment equality legislation prohibits discrimination on the grounds of age, employers are still allowed to set retirement ages in employment contracts. Since 1 January 2016, under the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 an employer may set a compulsory retirement age if the employer can objectively justify the retirement age of an employee. This could be for health and safety reasons, for example, the physical demands and requirements of the job.

If an employee has reached the employer’s mandatory age of retirement, this legislation provides that they may still be legitimately offered fixed-term contracts, provided that it is objectively justified. The provisions of the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003 would still apply.

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) provides information on your rights and entitlements under employment legislation. For further information about your contract of employment and retirement age you can contact the WRC’s Information and Customer Service at Lo-call 1890 80 80 90 or through the website, workplacerelations.ie.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

 

 

Know Your Rights

C: Medical card and Domiciliary Care Allowance

June 2017

Question

I’m getting Domiciliary Care Allowance for my daughter so I was happy to hear that medical card cover was being extended to children who qualify for the payment. The medical card application form seems to require a lot of information that doesn’t appear relevant in this situation. Is there another way to apply?

Answer

You don’t need to complete the medical card application form to get the medical card for your daughter. The medical card for children who qualify for Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) isn’t subject to a means test so information about your income is not required.

Instead, you can register your child online by going to the website medicalcard.ie  and clicking on ‘Medical Cards (DCA)’. The site also has a form you can download if you prefer to apply by post.

You will need to provide the following information:

  • Your Personal Public Service (PPS) Number and contact details
  • Your child’s PPS Number and date of birth
  • The name and address of your child’s GP

The website includes a list of GPs who are participating in the scheme. If your GP of choice is accepting applications electronically, your child’s details will be sent to them. If not, you will be emailed a copy of the relevant details, which you can print out and bring to the GP.

Once the GP accepts your child to their GMS patient list, the registration will be finalised by the National Medical Card Unit and a medical card in your child’s name will be sent to you.

If you have questions about the medical card, you can call the information line on Lo-call 1890 252 919.

Further information is also available from the Citizens Information Service below.


Know Your Rights

D: Disabled Person’s Parking Permit

June 2017

Question

Can I use my mother’s Disabled Person’s Parking Permit if I’m doing an errand for her?

Answer

The Disabled Person’s Parking Permit can only be used by the person to whom it is issued. The permit shows the name and photograph of the person it has been issued to and you cannot use it unless that person is with you.

The permit allows the holder of the permit to use the public parking spaces that are specifically assigned for vehicles being used by a person with a disability.

These spaces or parking bays have the wheelchair symbol painted on the ground or have a sign with the wheelchair symbol displayed. Most accessible parking bays are located near amenities such as shops and schools.

Car parking spaces with the wheelchair symbol are usually wider than most other car parking spaces to enable drivers or passengers with a disability to get from their car seat to their wheelchair.

A Disabled Person’s Parking Permit is only issued to a person with a disability. The parking permit can be used by the person with the disability for any vehicle they are travelling in. This means that a person with a disability being driven at different times by different people can bring the parking permit and display it in whichever vehicle they are using.

The Disabled Person’s Parking Permit is administered by the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland (DDAI) and the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA). Both organisations provide detailed information on using the Disabled Person’s Parking Permit.

Further information is also available from the Citizens Information Service 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.


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