Monday, May 28, 2018

Know Your Rights: New General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


Question
I have heard that new data protection rules are coming in. What are these rules and how will they affect me?
Answer
A new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force across the EU on 25 May 2018.

The GDPR strengthens your rights and gives you much more control over your personal data. It also introduces stricter measures for businesses and other organisations that collect, control and process your personal data.

Under the GDPR, personal data is data that relates to you or can identify you, either by itself or together with other available information. Examples of personal data include your name, phone number, bank details and medical history.

Under the GDPR you are entitled to:
·         Access the contact details of the organisation collecting your data
·         See a copy of the data held about you
·         Have it amended or erased if it is incorrect
·         Move or transfer your data
·         Object to the use of your data
·         Information about how your data is being protected

The GDPR also imposes more obligations on organisations that control and process your data. These organisations must design data collection systems that meet specified requirements, collect only the data that is absolutely necessary for their purposes, keep records of the processing activities under their responsibility, keep data secure and report any data breaches.

Find out more on dataprotection.ie and gdprandyou.ie.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Know Your Rights: Carer’s Support Grant



Question

I’m a full-time carer and getting Carer’s Allowance. Last year I got a Carer’s Support Grant – will I get it again this year?

Answer
The Carer's Support Grant is an annual payment made to full-time carers. The payment for 2018 is €1,700. It is paid on the first Thursday of June each year. 

If you are still getting a carer’s payment on the first Thursday in June, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) will pay the grant to you automatically, and you don’t need to apply.

People getting Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance are paid the grant automatically. Full-time carers who are not getting one of these payments need to apply to the DEASP (unless they got the grant last year, in which case the Department will contact them about this year’s payment).

To qualify, you must be ordinarily resident in the State and caring for someone on a full-time basis for at least six months (including the first Thursday in June) and living with the person being cared for (or, if not, be contactable quickly by a direct system of communication, for example, telephone or alarm). The person you are caring for must not normally live in a hospital, convalescent home or similar establishment.

You won’t qualify if you are working, studying or training for more than 15 hours a week, getting Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit or signing on for credits.

To apply, fill in one application form (form CSG1) for each person being cared for (a grant may be paid for each person). Forms are available on welfare.ie. You can apply for the 2018 grant until 31 December 2019.



Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330

Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000


Monday, May 21, 2018

Know Your Rights: Seniors Alert Scheme


Know Your Rights: Seniors Alert Scheme



Question

I am a pensioner and live with my daughter who works full-time. I am on my own a lot of the time and I’m worried about my safety. I would like to get a personal alarm but I can’t afford one.

Answer

The Seniors Alert Scheme gives support to provide and install monitored personal alarm systems to older people of limited means. The scheme aims to support older people to continue to live securely and independently in their homes. The scheme is available through local community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations registered with Pobal, the non-profit company that administers the scheme.

The personal alarm is worn as a pendant around your neck or around your wrist like a watch and connects to a base unit in your home. When the alarm is activated, it automatically rings a helpline, which is open 24 hours a day, all year round. A helpline operator talks to you through the base unit and decides whether to alert a local volunteer responder or, if necessary, the emergency services.

The alarm monitoring service is free for the first year. After the first year, you pay an annual monitoring fee. Charges vary by provider and the type of alarm or pendant.

People aged 65 or over with limited means are eligible for the scheme. You must also be either living alone, living alone for most of the day, living with someone who also meets the eligibility criteria, or caring for someone else in your household. You must be able to benefit from the equipment being supplied and willing to maintain contact with the group administering the scheme. The equipment is supplied and installed for free, however you must return it to the registered group if no longer needed.

Contact the local group administering the scheme in your area to apply. Pobal publishes a list of all registered groups in the country on its website pobal.ie. You can also contact Pobal at (01) 511 7000 for details of your local group.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330

Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

Friday, April 27, 2018

Know Your Rights: Voting in a referendum




Question

How do I check if I can vote in the forthcoming referendum? If I’m not in Ireland on polling day, can I still vote?

Answer

To vote in a referendum, you must be an Irish citizen and be registered to vote. Every local authority is responsible for compiling and publishing a list of voters in its area. This is called the Register of Electors or the electoral register.
In general, Irish citizens living abroad cannot be entered on the Register of Electors and cannot vote in a referendum. The only exception to this is in the case of Irish officials on duty abroad (and their spouses) who may register on the postal voters list. If you are abroad on holiday on polling day, you cannot have a postal vote.
The current Register of Electors came into force on 15 February 2018. You can check if you are on the register at checktheregister.ie or at your local authority, Garda station, post office or public library.
If you are not on the register, you can apply to be added to the supplement to the register. You use Form RFA2, which is available online at checktheregister.ie or from your local authority, post office or public library. To be included in the supplement used at an election or referendum, your local authority must receive your application at least 15 days before polling day. Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose.
Local authorities prepare a postal voters list as part of the electoral register. You can only apply for registration as a postal voter if you cannot vote at a polling station because of illness or disability, your occupation, being in prison, or if you are studying full-time in Ireland but away from the address where you are registered to vote.
You can apply to be added to the supplement to the postal voters list up to 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day in a referendum. The application form for inclusion in the supplement to the postal voters list is available from your local authority or online at checktheregister.ie.  
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Know Your Rights: Voting in a referendum



Question
How do I check if I can vote in the forthcoming referendum? If I’m not in Ireland on polling day, can I still vote?
Answer
To vote in a referendum, you must be an Irish citizen and be registered to vote. Every local authority is responsible for compiling and publishing a list of voters in its area. This is called the Register of Electors or the electoral register.
In general, Irish citizens living abroad cannot be entered on the Register of Electors and cannot vote in a referendum. The only exception to this is in the case of Irish officials on duty abroad (and their spouses) who may register on the postal voters list. If you are abroad on holiday on polling day, you cannot have a postal vote.
The current Register of Electors came into force on 15 February 2018. You can check if you are on the register at checktheregister.ie or at your local authority, Garda station, post office or public library.
If you are not on the register, you can apply to be added to the supplement to the register. You use Form RFA2, which is available online at checktheregister.ie or from your local authority, post office or public library. To be included in the supplement used at an election or referendum, your local authority must receive your application at least 15 days before polling day. Sundays, public holidays and Good Friday are not counted as days for this purpose.
Local authorities prepare a postal voters list as part of the electoral register. You can only apply for registration as a postal voter if you cannot vote at a polling station because of illness or disability, your occupation, being in prison, or if you are studying full-time in Ireland but away from the address where you are registered to vote.
You can apply to be added to the supplement to the postal voters list up to 22 days (excluding Sundays and public holidays) before polling day in a referendum. The application form for inclusion in the supplement to the postal voters list is available from your local authority or online at checktheregister.ie.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Know Your Rights: Renewing a passport


Question
I have a valid passport, but it will expire two weeks before I go on holiday. Will two weeks give me enough time to get a new one?
Answer
You don’t have to wait until your passport expires to renew it. However, if you apply for a new passport before your current one expires, your new passport is valid from when you apply, rather than from when your previous passport expires.
The website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, dfa.ie, lists the current average processing times for different types of passport applications. The quickest way to renew your passport is by using the online application service. You can use this service to renew your passport if it expires any time in the next 12 months.
You must submit a digital photo with your online application. You can get a friend to take your photo with a digital camera or smartphone or you can go to a photo provider, for example a pharmacy or a photographer, who will give you a copy of your digital photo to upload. Alternatively, you can go to one of the Irish photo booth services listed on passportphoto.ie, which will take your photo and provide you with a code. If you enter this code when applying for your passport online, you don’t need to upload the photo yourself.
Online renewal isn’t available for children’s passports, so if you want to renew your family’s passports together, you have to use Passport Express, the postal application service. There is an extra charge of €9.50 per application for using Passport Express. However, if you are renewing passports for the whole family you can use the 'Family Application' option for €16, where up to four passport applications can be sent in one envelope. Alternatively, you can renew your own passport online and use Passport Express to renew any passports for children.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Know Your Rights: Back to Work Family Dividend



Question
I am getting Jobseeker’s Allowance and have just been offered a job. My husband looks after our two children at home. Can I get any social welfare assistance if I stop signing on and go back to work?
Answer
There is a scheme for people with children who stop claiming a jobseeker's payment, or a one-parent family payment, because they are in – or are taking up – work or self-employment. The scheme is called the Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD).
The BTWFD is a weekly payment for up to two years after you start work. For the first year in employment, you are paid the equivalent of any Increase for a Qualified Child that you were getting on your jobseeker’s payment or one-parent family payment (up to a maximum of four children). You get half of that amount weekly for the second year.
To qualify, you must have at least one qualified child and have been getting one of the following payments: Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit (for at least 12 months), One-Parent Family Payment, or Jobseeker’s Transitional payment. You and all members of your family (including your adult dependant) must sign off all primary social welfare payments.
The BTWFD can be paid with other social welfare payments including Working Family Payment (formerly called Family Income Supplement), Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, Child Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Rent Supplement.
You can get BTWFD for up to two years if you stay in employment. If you or your husband claim a primary social welfare payment within two years of you starting work, the BTWFD payment will stop. If you lose your job and claim a social welfare payment, the BTWFD stops. However, it may restart if you get a new job. You can get a maximum of two restarts per claim.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000