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Offaly CIS regularly answers your questions on Midlands . Check it out and see if we have answered one of your questions recently.

October 11th

Here are the questions:

Ann in Tullamore is getting living alone allowance and her brother is moving in with her for a couple of months as he is having an operation and she will be looking after him as he is recovering. Will she have to notify social welfare and would she be entitled to carer’s if she lost her living alone payment?

Yes. By its very name you must be living alone. She can reapply for this payment after her brother moves out. She can apply for the carers allowance, if she calls into any of our centres we will give her a form and if she requires it someone will help her with it.

Fergal in Mullingar was living in Australia for the last two years. He’s looking for a job and he is wondering if he can claim tax back for the years he was working before he emigrated.

He can apply to check for overpayment of tax for previous 4 years, so he can only go back to 2014. So if he contacts revenue and asks for a P21 balancing statement for each of the last 4 years they will check if he has overpaid in those years.

Thomas in Mountrath is wondering when will the Christmas bonus be paid and how much is it this year?

It was announced in the budget on Tuesday that the Christmas bonus is restored to 100% this year. So people will receive a double weeks payment before Christmas. This is usually paid in the end of November or early December.

Kathleen in Edenderry is working full time but will be 66 next month. She is hoping to continue working and her employer is happy to keep her on. Does she need to inform social welfare?

It depends on which pension she is applying for .if it is the contributory pension do not need to contact SW. if it is a non con then this means tested pension so she will have to inform SW. but remember if she continues to work she should inform revenue about her pension.

Deirdre is returning to work after maternity leave. She was hoping to go half time but her boss said no. What can she do?

Not a lot as she was employed under a contract of a number of hours, to vary her contract she will have to get consent from her employer.

Pauline in Athlone has two sons in college and she is considering doing a PLC course next year but she is wondering would she be entitled to a grant, as the two boys are already getting one?

Since 2010, people who are getting Back to Education Allowance and those on Post-Leaving Certificate courses who are getting VTOS allowances are not eligible for student support grants. However, this does not affect any entitlement they may have to exemption from college fees or the Student Contribution so she should still complete a grant application.

Dan in Laois is 65 and is retiring from work. He will be getting a pension from work but what social welfare payment would he be entitled to?

The state pension will not kick in until Dan is 66. He can apply for job seekers benefit for the intervening year.

Olivia in Offaly is living in a two bed council house but has four children, she’s been on the waiting list for a couple of years and recently she was offered a three bed house but it’s very small. Will she go to the bottom of the list if she refuses it?

A person can refuse a first offer, but she will have to justify the refusal. At present a local authority deem a three bedroom house for a family of 4 children adequate. I would advise her to consider if she refuses that there may be implications for her position on the housing list

Jenny was in the US recently and she has come back with a massive mobile bill of several hundred euros and she didn’t even use her phone that much. Can she appeal the charges?

The problem that Jenny has is common enough. Her mobile may have been refreshing while she was in the US. In Europe there is a cap on roaming charges but this does not apply outside the EU.

Paul has lost his driver’s licence. Does he need to report it to the Gardaí? Also how does he get a new one?

If your current driving licence or learner driving permit is lost, stolen, damaged or defaced, you should apply to the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) for a replacement. The replacement licence or permit is a duplicate or copy of your original driving licence or learner permit.

The fee for a new driving licence or learner permit if your licence or permit has been lost, stolen or damaged, but is out of date, is as follows:

Ten-year driving licence costs €55

Five-year bus or truck driving licence costs €55

Three-year driving licence costs €35

One-year driving licence costs €25

Ciara’s mother is in her 80’s, she is widowed and living alone in a three bedroom house worth about 200,000. Her mother wants to sign it over to her but she is wondering will she have to pay inheritance tax on it?

Gifts and inheritances can be received tax-free up to a certain amount. The tax-free amount, or threshold, varies depending on your relationship to the person giving the benefit. There are three different categories or groups. Each has a threshold that applies to the total benefits you have received in that category since 5 December 1991.

Group A: €320,000

Applies where the beneficiary is a child (including adopted child, step-child and certain foster children) or minor child of a deceased child of the disponer. Parents also fall within this threshold where they take an inheritance of an absolute interest from a child.


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