Thursday, November 4, 2021

Know your rights: Applying for a student grant

Know your rights: Applying for a student grant

Question

I just started college. Can I still apply for a student grant?

Answer

You can apply for a student grant if you are taking an approved course and meet the income and residency criteria.

These include:

§  Your family’s means must be under the specified threshold for the previous tax year (2020). If you or your family have had a change of circumstances during the current tax year, your changed circumstances may be taken into account.

§  You must have been ordinarily resident in Ireland for three of the last five years.

§  You must be an Irish, UK, EU, EEA or Swiss national. You may also be considered for a grant if you have refugee status, subsidiary protection or leave to remain in Ireland.

 

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) awards student grants.

You can use SUSI’s eligibility reckoner to see whether you meet the criteria for student grant funding.

To apply for a student grant, you complete an application form online.

Applications to SUSI close at midnight on 4 November 2021.

If you are refused a grant or are approved a grant at a rate that you don’t think applies to your situation, you can appeal in writing to SUSI within 30 days of getting your decision.

If you are living in direct provision or are in the international protection system, you can apply for support under the Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers

You can read more about the Student Grant Scheme on citizensinformation.ie.

You can also get information and advice from:

 

·        The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0818 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm

·        Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

 

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

 

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.

Tel: 0818 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Know your rights: Non-Geographic Numbers

Know your rights: Non-Geographic Numbers

Question

What are non-geographic numbers?

Answer

A non-geographic number (NGN) is any number beginning with 1800, 1850, 1890, 0818 or 076.

NGNs are used by Irish businesses, charities and other organisations to deliver services like helplines. Calls to 1800 numbers are free. Calls to 1850, 1890, 0818 and 076 numbers cost the same as calling a landline, and are included in ‘call bundles’ that include landline calls. This means that, when you call an NGN, it is either deducted from your bundle, or charged on a per-minute basis.

What is changing?

From 1 January 2022, there will only be 2 NGN numbers: 1800 and 0818. Organisations using 1850, 1890 or 076 numbers are now updating their contact details.

Why are the changes happening?

Many people avoid calling 1850, 1890 and 076 numbers because they think they are confusing and expensive. ComReg is reducing the number of NGNs to simplify NGNs for consumers.

From January 2022, there will be just 2 NGNs – 1800 (Freephone) and 0818 (Standard rate). This makes call costs easier to understand.

What happens if I call an 1850, 1890 or 076 number in 2022?

From 1 January 2022, all 1850, 1890 and 076 numbers will be withdrawn from service and you will not be able to use them. You can check an organisation’s website and social media channels for their new contact details.

You can also get information and advice from:

 

·        The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0818 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

·        Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

 

You can contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.

Tel: 0818 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Know your rights: Your rights as a tenant

Know your rights: Your rights as a tenant

Question

Can a landlord or letting agency ask me for personal information like my PPS number when starting a new tenancy?

Answer

Yes, a landlord or letting agent can ask you for certain personal information, but only at a specific point in the process of finding somewhere new to rent.

A landlord needs the PPS number of every tenant who is renting their property so they can register the tenancy with the Residential Tenancies Board, which landlords must do by law. See registering a tenancy for more information.

You may also be asked for the following information when you rent a property:

·         Recent bank statements

·         A reference from your previous landlord

·         A reference from your employer

·         Recent payslips

·         Photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s licence

You should only be asked for these details when you are offered the property to rent.  You should not have to give this information when you register with a letting or estate agent, or to view a property with an agent or a private landlord.

Any personal information you give your landlord or agent should only be used by them in accordance with data protection legislation.

You can read more about tenants’ rights and obligations on citizensinformation.ie.

You can also get information and advice from:

 

·         The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0818 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

·         Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

 

You can contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.

Tel: 0818 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Citizens Information has moved to 0818 prefix

  Citizens Information has moved to 0818 prefix

This news item was posted on September 8, 2021

The Citizens Information Board and its funded services have now moved to the 0818 prefix for all its telephone numbers.

Following a ComReg review and consultation, the number of Non-Geographic Numbers (NGNs) has been reduced from five to two. Only the 1800 Freephone and 0818 Standard Rate NGNs will remain in use. All other numbers will cease to operate from 1 January 2022.

Will calls to 0818 cost more?

Calls to 0818 will cost the same as to the previous 0761 numbers. Calls to 0818 are included in call bundles or will cost no more than calling a landline.

Helpline numbers

The national helpline numbers with the new prefix are:

§  The Citizens Information Phone Service is 0818 07 4000

§  The Money Advice and Budgeting Service is 0818 07 2000

§  The National Advocacy Service is 0818 07 3000

For a listing of all local service numbers, check out citizensinformation.ie or mabs.ie. The details of regional NAS offices can be found at advocacy.ie.

The old 0761 numbers will remain operational in tandem with 0818 until 31 December 2021. However, from 1 January 2022, only the 0818 numbers will connect you to the relevant service.

 

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.

Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

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

 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Know your rights: Returning to school

 

 When schools reopen, what health and safety rules will children have to follow?

The Government plans to reopen schools at the start of the new school year – end August 2020.

Students will have to keep a physical distance from one another when they are outside the classroom, including in hallways and outdoor spaces.

Inside the classroom, students will work within designated groupings or ‘bubbles’. Schools may use PE halls and other areas as classrooms to allow for physical distancing.

Students may also do ‘blended learning’. This means that their school programme will include learning at school and online learning at home.

Students and teachers will do more hand-washing and sanitising, and they will take staggered breaks and lunch times. There will be enhanced cleaning regimes in all schools to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19.

If your child is using school transport, they must:

§  Maintain physical distancing while waiting for the bus

§  Use hand sanitiser when boarding the bus

§  Always sit in a pre-assigned seat

§  Always sit beside the same child (either a sibling or a child from the same class group)

§  Observe respiratory etiquette at all times while waiting for and on-board the bus

§  Get off the bus one-by-one

If your child is in secondary school and using school transport, they must also wear a mask while waiting for and on-board the bus. Children with medical or special educational needs do not have to wear a face covering.

You can read the Government’s Roadmap for the full return to school for detailed guidance on returning to school.[


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ 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 citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

 

 

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

Friday, July 31, 2020

Know your rights: How to deal with scams

Know your rights: How to deal with scams

Question: I think I’ve been scammed, can I get my money back?

If you’ve been scammed, you have been tricked into parting with your money.

The scam can come in many forms.  You may be sold fake tickets that don’t exist. You may get a missed call from a scammer and when you phone back you could be paying a premium rate.  You could get a bogus email pretending to be from your bank, trying to trick you into sharing your personal and financial information.

If you suspect you’ve been scammed you should act immediately:

§  Stop all contact with the scammer

§  Do not send any more payments

§  If you paid by credit or debit card, tell your bank or card provider immediately

§  Report the incident to your local Garda station –scamming is a criminal matter

§  Gather any records you have about the scam (emails or other communications)

§  Protect your devices by resetting your passwords and update your anti-virus software

§  Report the incident to consumer protection agencies such as the CPCC, for advice and to help stop other people being caught in the same scam

You may be able to get your money back depending on what happened and how you paid the scammer.

You may get your money back if you:

§  Notice money has been taken from your account without your authorisation, and you contact your bank immediately.  In most circumstances, you bank must refund you for an unauthorised payment.

§  Bought something from a scammer with your debit card, credit card or PayPal. You can ask your bank or credit provider to reverse the transaction through a process known as a chargeback.

It’s unlikely you will get your money back if you:

§  Paid by bank transfer. It can be harder to get money back, but the sooner you contact your bank the better.

§  Paid by money transfer services such as MoneyGram, PayPoint or Western Union.

§  Paid by vouchers or gift card

To protect yourself in future, you should not share your personal information if you don’t know who are dealing with.  Trust your instinct and always ask yourself ‘is it safe?’ 

You can read more about how to protect yourself from scams on citizensinformation.ie.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ 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 citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

From July, a limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

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


Saturday, July 25, 2020

Update 25th July - July Jobs Stimulus

 July Jobs Stimulus

The Government announced a package of supports called the July Jobs Stimulus on 23 July 2020. The key provisions of the package include:

§  The  COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be extended to April 2021 and closed to new applications from 17 September 2020. From 17 September 2020, there will be three rates of payment:

For people who previously earned less than €200 per week

€203

For people who previously earned between €200 and €300 per week

€250

For people who previously earned over €300 per week

€300

You can read more about the social protection and employment support provisions in the press release from DEASP and on gov.ie.

§  A new Employment Wage Support Scheme will succeed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, and run until April 2021. Employers and new firms in sectors impacted by COVID-19 whose turnover has fallen 30% will get a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 per week per employee, including seasonal staff and new employees.

§  A range of supports for business were announced. With limited exceptions, the waiver of commercial rates will be extended until the end of September and the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme will provide an 80% guarantee for a wide range of credit products from €10,000 to €1 million up to a maximum term of 6 years. Small and micro companies will be supported through additional resources for MicroFinance Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. This will include measures to reduce interest rates on lending for micro and small businesses, including grants equivalent to 0% interest on the first year of SBCI and MFI loans. The Future Growth Loan Scheme is being expanded.

§  The standard rate of VAT will be reduced from 23% to 21%, effective from the beginning of September for 6 months.

§  A new Stay and Spend Incentive will refund taxpayer spending on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks, between October 2020 and April 2021, through a tax rebate of up to €125.

§  Enhanced levels of support will be made available under the Help to Buy scheme until December 2020.

§  An increased allowable expenditure under the Cycle to Work scheme from €1,000 to €1,500 for ebikes, and €1,250 for other bicycles will be introduced.

You can get full details of the July Jobs Stimulus on gov.ie.

 

 

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.

Tel: 0761 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. RoscommonInformation is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.