Know Your Rights November 2018

citizens information

Know Your Rights

A: Getting a copy of my birth certificate

November 2018

 

Question

I am planning to get married and need my birth certificate to give notice. I can’t find it. How and where do I get a new one?

Answer

If you plan to get married in Ireland, you must give 3 months’ notice. To do this, you need to book a marriage notification appointment at a civil registration service. You need to bring certain documents with you to this appointment, including a full standard birth certificate and a copy of this certificate.

You can apply for a birth, marriage or death certificate, or copies of these certificates, online, by email, by post or in person at a civil registration office or the General Register Office. There is a €20 fee for issuing birth, marriage and death certificates. There is a €4 fee for each photocopy requested (however, you can make copies of certificates yourself).

You can apply for a birth, marriage or death certificate online at lifeevents.hse.ie. You can also apply in person to any civil registration service. Contact details for civil registration services are on hse.ie.

If you wish to apply by post, you should complete an Application for certificate of Birth/Death/Marriage/Adoption/Civil Partnership (available online and at civil registration service offices) and send it to the Office of the Registrar General, Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon.

To apply for a certificate by email, you will need to download an Email Application for certificate of Birth/Death/Marriage/Adoption/Civil Partnership, complete the required details and email the form to [email protected] When the General Register Office receives your email application, it will email you a secure payment link, allowing you to pay the fee using a debit or credit card. Certificates are printed on secure paper and must be posted.

There is more information available on welfare.ie.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

 

 

Know Your Rights

B: GP visit card

November 2018

Question

I am a full-time carer for my mother. I don’t qualify for a medical card but I’ve heard that a GP visit card for carers is now available. How do I apply to get one?

Answer

The rules for GP visit cards have changed. Now everyone who is getting Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance, at full rate or half rate, is eligible for a GP visit card.

To get the GP visit card, you complete the registration form for carers. The form does not ask for information about your income – just your personal and contact details. You also need to get the form signed by your GP. You must choose your GP from the list of participating GPs.

You can get a registration form, and the list of participating GPs, on medicalcard.ie or by calling LoCall 1890 252 919. You can also register for the card online at medicalcard.ie.

When you have a GP visit card, you can visit the GP for free. It also covers visits to out-of-hours GP services. However, the GP visit card does not cover hospital charges.

Prescribed drugs are not covered by the card but, if you use the Drugs Payment Scheme, there is a limit on how much you have to pay for prescriptions each month. At present, you pay a maximum of €134 in a calendar month for approved prescribed drugs and medicines for use by yourself and your family in that month.

You can download an application form for the Drugs Payment Scheme from the Health Service Executive (HSE) website, hse.ie, or you can get an application form from your pharmacy or Local Health Office.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.


 

 

Know Your Rights

C: Regulation of charities

November 2018

 

Question

How are charities regulated in Ireland?

Answer

The Charities Regulatory Authority (Charities Regulator) regulates charities in Ireland. It maintains a public register of charities and monitors their compliance with the Charities Act 2009. This Act sets out what an organisation must do to be recognised as a charity and the legal obligations for operating as a charity in Ireland.

To be considered a charity, an organisation must:

  • Operate in the Republic of Ireland (though its target group can be elsewhere)
  • Exist for a charitable purpose and exclusively promote this purpose (a charitable purpose is a goal that is of public benefit)
  • Not be an excluded body (such as a trade union, chamber of commerce etc.)

The organisation must first give the Regulator information about itself, so the Regulator can assess if it meets the requirements to be a charity. If the Regulator approves the application, it awards the organisation charitable status, gives it a Registered Charity Number and lists it on the charities register. You can search the charities register on charitiesregister.ie.

It is an offence for an organisation to describe itself as a charity and carry out charitable activities, if it is not registered with the Charities Regulator.

The Regulator can appoint an inspector to investigate a charity’s affairs. The charity and its trustees must co-operate fully and give the inspector all the relevant accounts and documents.

The Regulator can choose to take a charity off the register – for example, if it fails to comply with its financial obligations or give the Regulator the information it requires.

If you are concerned about a charity or its activities, you can raise a concern with the Charities Regulator.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

 

Know Your Rights

D: Help for people in mortgage arrears

November 2018

Question

We’re way behind with our mortgage and can’t pay our other bills either. We’re afraid that the bank will take our home – they keep sending us letters. What can we do?

Answer

You can contact MABS, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, to get help under the scheme of aid and advice for borrowers in home mortgage arrears. Contact the MABS Helpline: 0761 07 2000 (9am – 8pm, Mon – Fri) or your local MABS office.

This scheme is part of Abhaile, the national Mortgage Arrears Resolution Service. It provides a range of services to help you to deal with your situation, including financial advice, legal advice and insolvency advice.

Abhaile is coordinated by the Departments of Justice and Equality, and Employment Affairs and Social Protection. It is operated by MABS along with the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI), the Legal Aid Board and the Citizens Information Board. Panels of qualified and regulated professionals provide services under Abhaile.

You will qualify for advice and assistance under Abhaile if:

  • You are insolvent – this means that you are unable to pay your debts in full as they fall due and
  • You are in mortgage arrears on your home and
  • You are at risk of losing your home (for example, if your mortgage lender has initiated repossession proceedings or indicated that they plan to do so; if they have said that they consider you to be non-cooperating; or if they have asked you to consider selling or surrendering your home) and
  • The costs of staying in your home are proportionate to your reasonable accommodation needs

You can contact MABS to check if you are eligible for Abhaile (as eligibility is decided case by case). Read more about Abhaile on mabs.ie.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Bray Information Centre  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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