Know Your Rights November 19th

COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS)

I’ve had to close my business to the public during the latest COVID restrictions. Can I get any support?

There are a number of supports for business during COVID-19 restrictions. Under the new COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), there is a cash payment for qualifying businesses.

Sole traders, partnerships and companies can apply for the CRSS. You must have a valid tax clearance certificate and have met your VAT obligations.

Generally, this scheme applies when Level 3 or higher restrictions are in place in line with the Plan for Living with COVID-19.

To qualify, your business premises must be either closed to customers or substantially restricted in operating due to COVID-19 restrictions. You must intend to reopen once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and your turnover for the restricted period must be disrupted by 75% compared to 2019 levels.

To apply, you make a claim to Revenue under the CRSS for a cash payment known as an Advance Credit for Trading Expenses (ACTE).

This ACTE payment is equal to 10% of your average weekly turnover in 2019 up to €20,000 and 5% thereafter, with a maximum weekly payment of €5,000. If your business was set up between 26 December 2019 and 12 October 2020, the claim will be based on your actual weekly average turnover.

There is a 2-step process to make your claim:

  1. You must register for the CRSS through Revenue’s Online Service (ROS).
  2. You must complete a CRSS claim for a claim period/s within 8 weeks of the date the claim period starts (that is the date the restrictions start).

The claim period is the period during which the qualifying COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

The current maximum claim period runs from 13 October 2020 (the date the scheme was announced) to 1 December 2020. The date you can start your claim from depends on the level of restrictions that were in place in your location during October 2020.

You can get more help from Revenue’s National Employer Helpdesk through the myEnquiries system or by calling the National Employer helpline Tel: 01 738 3638 (Monday to Friday, from 9.00am to 5.00pm).

You can get information about supports for business during COVID-19 on

Prescription charges

I have a medical card but I seem to be paying more than the monthly cap for prescription charges for my family. Why would this happen and how can I get a refund?

If you have a medical card, you must pay a charge for each prescription item you get. Since1 November 2020, this prescription charge has been reduced from €2.00 to €1.50 per item, up to a maximum of €15 per month per person or family (previously, the maximum was €20 per month). If you are over 70, the charge is €1 per item up to a maximum of €10 per month.

Usually your pharmacy keeps records of how much you have paid in prescription charges and makes sure that you do not pay more than the limit each month. However, you may use different pharmacies in the same month, or your family members may not be set up as a family group, and you may end up paying more than the maximum.

If this happens, the Health Service Executive (HSE) will issue a refund. You don’t need to apply for it. This is done on the basis of the information from pharmacies. Refunds are issued every 6 months.

You can set up your family as a family group on and print off a family certificate to give to your pharmacist. This will show all of the members of your family so that your pharmacy will not collect charges above the monthly limit.

If you do not have access to the internet, you can ask your Local Health Office to help with setting up a family group. You can also call the HSE on 1890 252 919 or ask your local pharmacist, who may be able to help you. You can find out more about prescription charges for medical card holders on

During the COVID-19 pandemic you can contact your local Citizens Information Centre:

•          Bray CIC on 0761 07 6780 Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm

•          Email Bray CIC at – anytime

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Bray Citizens Information Centre

You can  find comprehensive integrated information online at and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday,
    9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit to request a phone call from an information officer

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