|Medical Card||GP Only|
|Status||Under 66||66 and over||Under 66||66 and over|
|Single living alone||€184.00||€201.50||€276.00||€302.00|
|Single living with family||€164.00||€173.50||€246.00||€260.00|
|Married couple (or single parent)||€266.50||€298.00||€400.00||€447.00|
|Additional Allowance for Dependent Children:||Medical Card||GP Only|
|for first two children under 16||€38.00||€57.00|
|for other children under 16||€41.00||€61.50|
|for first two children over 16||€39.00||€58.50|
|for other children over 16||€42.50||€64.00|
|for over 16 in full time third level (no grant)||€78.00||€117.00|
Persons on Social Welfare who have no other income will generally qualify for a Medical Card. An increase in Social Welfare will not cause you to lose your card. Starting from 2014, you may retain a GP Card for 3 years when you secure full-time employment (having been in receipt of Social Welfare for at least 12 months).
The HSE will consider cases outside these guidelines in special circumstances, for example to cover one family member with high medical costs. Medical Card holders do not have to pay exam fees for children. Persons with British or EU pensions, who have no Irish Social Welfare pension, generally qualify for the Medical Card regardless of income. Students will only qualify for a medical card in their own right if they have an independent income of at least €164 (this can include a student grant which would not count in the Medical Card means-test).
- Once either spouse qualifies at 70, both get cover.
- A surviving partner aged over 70 will be allowed to keep their medical card for three years.
- In the means test, the first €36,000 (single), €72,000 (couple) of assets are disregarded. On the balance only the income actually earned will be counted.
- Casualty and Outpatient €100 unless referred by your doctor or admitted to hospital
- Public patients pay €80 per night (up to a max e800 in a year)
- Private patients will pay charges even if they are in public wards from 1 January 2014. The charges are €407 (day care) and €813 per night (in ward), €1,000 (single room).
Under the “Fair Deal” patients seeking a place in either a Private or a Public Nursing Home now have the same assessment of need and the same means-test for payment. The patient will be liable to pay towards the cost of care:
80% of assessable income (i.e. after deduction of tax, PRSI, mortgage/rent and out-of-pocket medical expenses)
Plus 7.5% of the value of any assets, in excess of a disregard of €36,000.
A spouse is assessed with half of the couple’s joint income and assets. The HSE can assess assets transferred in the past 5 years. The balance of the cost will be met by the State.
If the assets are in property, the contribution can be deferred until settlement of the person’s estate, but the money owing will be increased by the Consumer Price Index each year. In the case of the family home only, the deferred contribution will be capped at 22.5% (i.e. after three years of care). The deferred charge against the home will not be collected during the life time of a surviving spouse or a disabled child. This deferral must be separately requested by the patient, or by a care.
An additional 50% allowance and full respite grant will be paid to a person caring for more than one incapacitated person. Carers are entitled to free travel in their own right. A carer can take up training or paid employment for up to 15 hours per week. Carers are entitled to credited contributions to keep you in benefit. When you cease caring, you are entitled to go on Back to Work, Back to Education or Community Employment Schemes.
you owe (utilities, banks, etc.) and seek advice. Options include:
• Money Advice & Budgeting Service (MABS) who advise and can negotiate with creditors (1890 283 438 or locally, Bunratty Rd 8674892)
• Utilities offer Easypay options and even pre-payment meters in some circumstances.
• A Mortgage Code of Practice protects you by requiring the lender:- to explore alternatives (like interest only or extending the term); not to apply penalties or force you to abandon a tracker mortgage; not to take legal action for repossession for 8 months after the arrears arose and 3 months after an alternative is refused (not counting time when you are complying with an agreement or appealing internally, or to the Financial Service Ombudsman). However, non-cooperation can forfeit these protections.
• Insolvency Service of Ireland will process arrangements negotiated on your behalf with your creditors to restructure your debts during a fixed period (max 7 years) of compliance. Different arrangements apply for different types of debt. For unsecured debts under €20,000 they allow write-off on proof of inability to pay. Over €20,000 and for secured debts like mortgages, formal agreement of creditors is needed. ISI operates to published guidelines.
• Already renting (or in homeless accommodation) for at least six months, or on the Council’s housing needs list.
• Otherwise you must be first assessed by Roscommon County Council as in housing need (emergency cases fast-tracked by DCC).
No supplement will generally be paid where the rent exceeds ceilings set out for different family size (e.g. Single (sharing) €350-DCC, €300-Fingal; Single parent (+1) €950-DCC, €850-Fingal; Couple (+2) €975-DCC, €900-Fingal).
The supplement is calculated as the sum necessary to bring your assessed income, after payment of rent back up to €156 (single), €272.80 (couples) plus €29.80 for each child. Assessed income includes the first €95.23 of any maintenance payment, and weekly Social Welfare. Deductions are allowed from other income (e.g. part-time earnings, FIS, or higher maintenance payments) of PRSI, the cost of travelling to work, the first €75 plus 25% of the balance.
A person returning to full-time work who has been out for at least 12 months may retain Rent support where the Council has deemed you eligible for the Rent Accommodation Scheme (RAS), with the supplement recalculated based on your new earnings level.
• Housing Aid For Older People – Up to 100% grant in owner-occupied homes, for persons age 65 or over, of up to €10,500 for necessary improvements – rewiring, roof repair, central heating (where none).
• Mobility Aids – Up to 100% grant of up to €6,000 to address mobility problems, certified by a doctor (e.g. rails, ramps, stairlifts and level access showers) in owned or private rented homes where the annual household income is under €30,000.
• Housing Adaptation (Disability) – Up to 95% grant of up to €30,000 to adapt a home to suit the needs of a person with an enduring disability (e.g. downstairs toilet/shower, wheelchair adaptation, extension, etc.) in owned or private rented homes. The works must be certified necessary by a doctor and may require an Occupational Therapist Report.
- Insulation of attic (€200)
– Cavity wall (€250)
– Internal wall (€1,800 (detached), €1,350 (semi or end-of-terrace), €900 (apartment (any) or mid-terrace),
– External wall (€3,600 (detached), €2,700 (semi or end-of-terrace), €1,800 (apartment (any) or mid-terrace)
– Heater control with boiler upgrade (€560)
– Heating controls upgrade only (€400)
– Solar heating (€800).
The solar grant is to incentivise investment in small solar systems in the average home. Among
the insulation works you can get a grant of €50 for a Building Energy Rating (BER). Grants will typically cover 20-30% of the full cost. Energy savings of up to 50% can be achieved. External wall insulation: Before installing external insulation, you should first apply to your local authority for a Declaration of Exemption form (cost: €80), as you may need planning permission.
Standard Rate Cut-off Income 2014
|Weekly||12 Month Value|
|Single Person Child Carer||€707.69||€36,800|
|Married (one income)||€803.85||€41,800|
|Married (two incomes)||€1,261.54||€65,600|
If you rent rooms in your own home for less than e10,000 gross, this will be exempt from income tax and USC, provided the tenant is not your own child, and the rent is not being paid by the employer of the tenant. If you care for up to 3 children in your home and receive less than e15,000, this income will be exempt from tax but a minimum €500 Social Insurance is payable. If you exceed these amounts, the exemption is lost and the whole lot is taxed. You must be registered with the HSE as a child minder.
|Tax Credits 2014|
|Single Person Child Carer||€1,650|
|PAYE Credit (per individual)||€1,650|
|Age Tax Credit (per individual)||€245|
|Home Carer’s Tax Credit||€810|
— The Home Carer’s Tax Credit is available to a spouse in a one-earner family who is caring in the home for a child who is eligible for Child Benefit or for an aged or disabled person. You must apply for this allowance. The homecarer isallowed to have up to €5,080 income of their own, thereafter the credit is reduced, reaching zero if income exceeds €6,620. Carer’s Allowance is not counted as income in this means test, nor is income from childminding under €15,000.
— Single Person Child Carer Credit applies to a single or widowed person if you are the principal carer of a child aged under 18, over 18 in full-time education, or permanently incapacitated.
— Dependent Relative Credit is claimable if you support a widowed mother or incapacitated relative whose income does not exceed the contributory OAP.
— A parent with dependent children who is widowed gets an additional tax credit in each of the 5 subsequent tax years of €3,600, €3,150, €2,700, €2,250 and €1,800 respectively.
Tax credits which are unused are not refundable. They will be carried forward from week to week during a tax year, but if unused after the end of the tax year, they are lost.
December 2012 continue to qualify for relief for the remainder of their approved period.
• Health Insurance This relief is now granted at source and deducted from your premium by the insurer. Relief will be confined to the first e1,000 per adult, €500 per child on renewals after 16 October 2013.
• Insurance to cover long-term care costs in the event of serious disability, and to cover non-routine dental costs.
• College Fees (including Tuition Fee and Student Contribution) of up to €7,000 for each student for full or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate courses in accredited courses in Ireland. However, the first €2,750 of each claim in 2014 is disregarded (i.e. for parents paying only the Student Contribution of €2,500, relief only applies for the second and subsequent child in college).
• Fees of up to €1,270 per course for foreign language or ICT courses (approved by SOLAS).
• Rent Payments by tenants to private landlords is being phased out. Only tenants renting before 7 December 2010 still qualify. For them relief in 2014 is up to a maximum €800 (single), €1,600 (married/widowed), and if you are aged 55 or over up to e1,600 and e3,200 respectively. This is to be phased out by 2017.
• Employer provided childcare is subject to income tax as Benefit in Kind.
— 2% up to €10,036 (€193 per week)
— 4% on the next €5,979 (next €115 per week)
— 7% on the remainder
An exemption applies to persons whose total income is under €10,036 (€193 per week). The self-employed pay 10% on income over €100,000. Persons aged 70 or over (or who hold full medical cards) will only pay 7% on income over €60,000.
Only a half year’s tax was payable in 2013, but in 2014 it will be payable in full. A notice of assessment will be issued based on last year’s return. It will then be open to you to change your payment method, seek a deferral, and/or to submit evidence to change the market value of your home. If paying your LPT in full by cash, payment must be made by 1 January 2014.
• New house purchased up to October 2016 will be exempt for 4 years
• Houses vacant, where the occupant can no longer live alone due to infirmity.
Inability to pay:
An owner may defer payment:
• For an indefinite period where gross income does not exceed €15,000 (single) or €25,000 (couple)
• Up to 2017 where gross incomes less 80% mortgage interest falls below €15,000 (single) or €25,000 (couple).
Half the tax may be deferred in both cases up to €25,000 (single), €35,000 (couple). Interest of 4% of the deferred tax will be added each year to be recovered from the sale/transfer of the property.
Back to Work Enterprise Allowance can be claimed by a person who has been unemployed or on Sickness benefit for at least 12 months, when you start a business. It allows you retain part of your Social Welfare payments, tax free, for 2 years (100%, 75%).
Exemption From Income Tax
If you have been unemployed for 12 months or more and start an unincorporated business, you will be exempt from income tax for 2 years up to a max of €40,000 per year.
Short-term Enterprise Allowance
A Short-term Enterprise Allowance can be claimed by anyone who has been made redundant or who is eligible for Jobseekers Benefit. It allows you to retain benefit until it expires (max 12 months). If you have been on Social Welfare for at least three months, you can retain your payment and secondary benefits but the scheme will not extend the duration of your entitlements.
Help With A Start-up Business
Help with a start-up is also available from the Roscommon County Enterprise Board (Tel. 090 6626263). Microfinance Ireland (Tel: 2601007) can lend up to e25,000 to a person who can’t get bank finance.
Seed Capital Scheme
Seed Capital Scheme: if you start up and work full-time in your own company, you can get tax relief on the capital you invest in the equity of the company. The relief is a refund of the income tax you paid on an equal amount of income in any of the previous six years. New companies get relief from Corporate Tax for the first three years of up to €5,000 per employee (max €40,000 Tax Credit).
JobBridge offers an internship of 6-9 months to persons who have been signing on as available to work and getting a payment or credits for at least 3 months. Time on completed programmes in FÁS training, back to education or a community scheme will count towards eligibility. Participants will receive €50/week on top of their welfare. See www.jobbridge.ie.
JobsPlus is designed to help those who have been 12 months out of work. It gives an employer who recruits you a €72-per-week subsidy for 2 years, provided the job provides work on at least 4 days and 30 hours per week. Visit www.jobsplus.ie to register online. A person who has been at least 12 months out of work retains GP cover for 3 years after returning to work.
Springboard offers free part-time certificate, degree or post-graduate courses in Institutes of Education to those signing on at the time of starting, and allows retention of welfare payments. See www.springboardcourses.ie
Momentum offers a mix of training and on-the-job experience across a range of sectors (running 11-45 weeks) to a person who has been on the Live Register for at least 12 months. See www.momentumskills.ie
Community employment offers up to 20 hours work per week for 12 months to people aged 25 or over who have been on Social Welfare for over 12 months and have worked no more than 30 days in the year. The allowance paid, €208, is €20 over Social Welfare. The period of participation can be extended in certain cases. Tús can be offered to persons of similar eligibility but can include persons of 25 and under.
Back to Education Allowance (from Department of Social Protection) or a VTOS Allowance (VEC)
Back to Education Allowance (from Department of Social Protection) or a VTOS Allowance (VEC), is claimable if you are undertaking a full-time course leading to a recognised certificate at second, third or post-graduate, and are:
• At least 21 years of age (18, if out of education for at least 2 years), 24 post-graduate and
• On Social Welfare for at least 3 months (for Second Level), 6 months (VTOS), or 9 months (for Third Level), or immediately if you lose your job and get statutory redundancy.
A maximum rate of €160 BTEA/VTOS will be paid to persons aged under 25 or under. If you are on these schemes, you must apply for waiver of the Student Contribution under the third level grant. Part-time VTOS options can be taken up without affecting Social Welfare entitlements subject to approval.
|Contributory OAP (Full Rate)||€230.30||€206.30 (aged 66 or over)|
|Non Contributory OAP||€219.00||€144.70 (aged 66 or over)|
|Contributory Widows – under 66||€193.50||—|
|Contributory Widows – 66 or over||€230.30||—|
|All Other Payments||€188.00||€124.80|
|Living Alone Allowance||€7.70||—|
|Over 80 Allowance||€10.00||—|
• Qualified Child Payment of €29.80 is paid to persons on Social Welfare up to the end of the academic year in which the child reaches 18. A person on Social Welfare for over 26 weeks can claim up to 22nd birthday if in full-time education. Full rate QCP will be paid if your spouse is working and earning no more than €400. • A Back-to-School payment of e100 for primary pupils from age 4, €200 for secondary pupils (none beyond secondary).
– €506.00 for a family with one child, plus
– €96 for second, €101 for third, €121 for fourth, and €126 (approx) for each other child.
If you qualify, the payment will last at least 52 weeks and it will be of a minimum ˙€20 per week. You may also be eligible for a Back-to-School payment from the HSE, but the means tests are not identical. FIS will not affect your eligibility for a medical card. You can claim One Parent Family Payment and your FIS is not counted as means.
• Playschool for 3 hours daily for 38 weeks, or
• Childcare for 2 hours 15 minutes daily for 50 weeks.
A pre-school cannot charge parents extra for the hours covered by the scheme, but can charge for extra hours or for additional activities as long as these are optional.
• A weekly payment if you are sick or unemployed and have not received Social Welfare.
• A supplement towards the assigned cost of a special diet (about e70) less one third (one sixth in the case of a couple) of the applicant’s current income. Exceptional heating supplement can be paid in serious medical circumstances.
• A once-off payment for unforeseen needs such as a funeral, fares to visit or attend hospital, a robbery, fire or flood; or for unaffordable essential needs such as: furniture or kitchen equipment when setting up home; needs associated with pregnancy and a new baby; clothing or replacing essential equipment for older people on low income or in poor health; children’s clothing in exceptional situations.
• Help if the repayment schedule sought by the Electricity/Gas to sort out a serious arrear causes excessive hardship. In assessing eligibility, the CWO takes into account all income coming into the house including part-time earnings of a spouse and income of other adults. Full-time students and persons working over 30 hours are not generally eligible. Decisions can be appealed to Social Welfare Appeals Office, D’Olier House, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2 (Ph: 01-6732800; LoCall 1890 74 74 34).
- an average of 30-39 weeks contributions per year, you get 90% pension
– an average of 20-29 weeks, you get 85% pension
– an average of 15-19 weeks, you get 65% pension
– an average of 10-14 weeks, you get 40% pension
As before, people with less than an average of 10 weeks per year do not qualify for payment.
• Electricity or Natural Gas up to e420 and
• Free television licence.
Pensioners who don’t have a Social Welfare pension can qualify at age 66 on the same terms provided their means don’t exceed the Contributory OAP rate by more than e100. If you are aged 70 or over, you can qualify for all of these free schemes regardless of your income or its source and regardless of who lives with you. If you are widowed and aged 60 or over, you can retain the free schemes and free travel if your late spouse had them, and you satisfy the other conditions.
• A Lone Parent can earn e110 per week (after Pension Contributions and PRSI) without affecting your entitlement to One Parent Family Payment. Between €110 and €425 payment is reduced by 50c for each euro of earnings. Up to €95.23 of Maintenance is disregarded where there are housing payments to be met, thereafter half of the payment is assessed. One Parent Family Payment is to cease when the youngest child reaches 7 years. This applies from July 2014 for persons whose claim was made after 3 May 2012, and from July 2015 for all other claimants.
• Jobseeker’s Allowance is cut to €150 if a job offer or activation measure is refused.
• A person claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance whose spouse is working will be paid the rate for a claimant and an adult dependent less 60% of their spouse’s earnings (after deduction of pension contribution, PRSI and union subscriptions) in excess of €60 per week.