Know Your Rights February 2016

Know Your Rights A:

Help for people who have been flooded

February 2016


My house was flooded and badly damaged. What help can I get?


The Department of Social Protection’s Humanitarian Assistance Scheme provides means-tested emergency financial help immediately following flooding. The Government has not set a limit on the amount that can be paid to an individual household under this scheme. The amount paid depends on how severe the damage is and your ability to meet these costs. The scheme covers:

1. Emergency income support payments.
2. Damage to your home and its essential contents, such as carpets, flooring, furniture and household appliances and bedding.
3. Structural damage may also be considered.

The Department of Social Protection also provides exceptional and urgent needs payments which can help in the aftermath of a flood.

If your home has been flooded and you are getting help from the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme, you can apply to have your 2016 Local Property Tax (LPT) payment deferred (even if you do not qualify for deferral under the normal criteria). Contact the LPT Helpline on 1890 200 255 to make the relevant arrangements.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has information on cleaning a home after flooding and dealing with the psychological effects of flooding. The Office of Public Works (OPW) has a website,, that gives information about what to do before, during and after a flood.

There are two publications giving details of the help available:
 Leaflet – Schemes Available For People Affected by Recent Flooding
 Booklet – Government Assistance For People Affected by Flooding

You can get the leaflets on the website or from your local Citizens Information Centre.


Know Your Rights B:

Accessing health care abroad

February 2016


I need to get a medical procedure carried out. I have just found out that I can expect to wait over a year for the procedure in Ireland. Can I get my medical costs refunded if I travel to another country in Europe to have this procedure?


If you are entitled to public health services that are available in Ireland, you can access these services in the European Economic Area (EEA). You will be repaid the cost if you meet the requirements. This is provided for by the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive.

The Directive covers services that are publicly funded and available in Ireland. These include acute hospital services and community-based out-patient care. Other services covered include physiotherapy, ophthalmic, psychology, disability and mental health services. Occupational therapy services and dental and orthodontic services are also covered, but with some exceptions. Treatments that qualify for the Treatment Abroad Scheme (in general, treatments not available in Ireland) are not covered under the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive.

You must be referred to the health service that you require abroad in the same way that you would be referred to public health services in Ireland. This referral may be by your GP (family doctor) or public hospital consultant for example. They may also be able to tell you whether the service you require is covered by the Directive. You can also check with the National Contact Point (details below).

If the treatment involves an overnight stay in hospital, then it will need to be authorised in advance by the Health Service Executive (HSE). For other treatments, you should check whether prior authorisation is required. You pay the costs of treatment and then apply for a refund when you return to Ireland. The amount repaid is the amount that the treatment would cost in Ireland or the cost of your treatment abroad if that is less. It does not include other costs such as travel. The HSE has published refund amounts for different treatments. To get a refund of treatment costs, you and your healthcare provider abroad must complete a HSE form. You then submit it with the healthcare provider invoice and receipt.

For information about prior authorisation, applying for a refund, or for any other queries contact: National Contact Point, Cross-Border Healthcare Directive Department, St Canice’s Hospital, Dublin Road, Kilkenny, Telephone (056) 778 4546, Email:

Know Your Rights C:

Registering to vote

February 2016

I want to vote in the upcoming general election. How do I add my name to the register?

The Register of Electors is published every year on 1 February. The 2016/17 register comes into effect on 15 February 2016. You can check if you are on the Register at or at your local authority, Garda station, post office or public library. The closing date for submitting changes to the Register was 25 November 2015.

Changes to the published Register after the closing date are taken into account in a supplement to the Register of Electors. If you are not listed on the register, you can apply be added to the supplement using form RFA2. The form is available online at or from your local authority, post office or public library.

You can make this application at any time, but in order to be included in the supplement used at an election, your application must be received by your local authority at least 15 days before polling day (Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose). In general you must sign the form in the presence of a member of the Garda Síochána from your local garda station unless you are unable to for certified medical reasons.

If you are on the register but your address has changed, you can have your new address added to the supplement by completing form RFA3. This will also remove you from the register for your previous address.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights D:

Training Support Grants

February 2016

I’m getting Jobseeker’s Allowance and am really interested in working with food. I found a café near me that is willing to offer me a job. They have asked me to do a food safety (HACCP) course first but I can’t afford the course fee. Is there any help with this?

You should talk to your Department of Social Protection (DSP) case officer about a Training Support Grant. This scheme can give you quick access to short-term training that will help you take up a work opportunity.

Your DSP case officer can approve a grant under this scheme where:
• A training need is identified that is not provided by DSP directly or any other State provider and is not available quickly or in a suitable location.
• The intervention identified is linked to both the activation needs of the jobseeker and labour market conditions.
• The intervention is part of the agreed personal progression or action plan to enter or re-enterwork.
• They are satisfied that you have provided reasonable evidence or grounds of need (for example, in the form of a job offer or of a potential job offer) or an identified skill gap or a requirement to maintain or achieve accreditation (for example, safe pass, driving licences, HACCP, security industry permits).

You can get funding of up to €500 a year under the scheme. (However the maximum contribution that can be approved and paid for essential driver training is €250.)

You need to provide a quotation from the training provider. Generally the grant is paid after you have finished the programme, done the relevant assessments and achieved certification.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Co Wicklow Citizens Information Service
Bray Citizens Information Centre Tel: 0761 07 6780
Arklow Citizens Information Centre Tel: 0761 07 6750
Wicklow Town Citizens Information Centre Tel: 0761 07 6840
Baltinglass Citizens Information Centre Tel: 086 048 1880
Blessington Citizens Information Centre Tel: 086 048 1881
Glendalough Citizens Information Centre Tel: 0404 45611
Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

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