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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.

Radio Questions

8th February 2018

Paula is wondering how many hours can she work and still get her contributory widows pension?

As many hours as she wants as it is not a means tested payment

Is Home help available for visually impaired people? If so, how many hours would they be entitled to?

The particular supports provided to each person will depend on the needs that are identified during the assessment which is undertaken by a HSE health professional, generally a public health nurse. The outcome of this assessment determines the number of hours of assistance set for each day or each week.

Frank is wondering if his parents leave him the family home will he have to pay capital gains tax?

If you receive a gift, you may have to pay gift tax on it. If you receive an inheritance following a death, it may be liable to inheritance tax. Both these taxes are types of Capital Acquisitions Tax.

The benefit (the gift or inheritance) is taxed if its value is over a certain limit or threshold. Different tax-free thresholds apply depending on the relationship between the disponer (the person giving the benefit) and the beneficiary (the person receiving the benefit). There are also a number of exemptions and reliefs that depend on the type of the gift or inheritance.

Group A applies where the beneficiary, the person receiving the benefit, is a child of the person giving it. This includes a stepchild or an adopted child.

Current CAT thresholds (from 12 October 2016)

Group A: €310,000

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.

Please seek full advises from a financial adviser in relation to this query.

I am in receipt of invalidity Pension is there any education or courses that i can undertake for free?

If you were getting Invalidity Pension or Illness Benefit, and take up a place on a FET training course you will continue to get your full social welfare payment including any increases you get for your dependents. You do not get a training allowance or a training bonus. You must always apply for prior written permission from DSP before you can take up a training course. Check out the Further Education and Training (FET) training courses provided in Education and Training Boards (ETB) training centres are free (except for evening courses). The full list is on the www.citizensinformaton.ie

Dan says that his ex-girlfriend refused to put his name on their daughter’s birth cert. He is wondering what are his rights as he wants to part of his child’s life?

Dan really to attend a CIC re his rights but I can deal with the birth certificate issue here.

The mother or father may make a written request (Form CRA 5 and Form CRA 6 respectively) on production of a certified copy of a court order which names the person to be registered as the father. The parent making the request will be required to attend at the office of the Registrar to sign the Register of Births.

Effectively he need go to the court to seek a court order to have his name inserted on the birth certificate.

A listener in Portlaoise is wondering if there are grants to have a home adapted for someone who had a stroke. Her mum is recovering in hospital after a stroke but lives in a two storey house and the family want to change one of the downstairs rooms into a bedroom and wet room. Would they be entitled to a grant? Her parents are both OAPs and get the pension but have no other income.

A housing adaptation grant is available where changes need to be made to a home to make it suitable for a person with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability or mental health difficulty to live in.

The grant can help you to make changes and adaptations to your home, for example, making it wheelchair-accessible, extending it to create more space, adding a ground-floor bathroom or toilet or a stair-lift. In some cases, the provision of heating can be included, but only under certain conditions.

Phone, email or Call into your local CIC and we will give you a full printout of the scheme.

7. Pamela is three months pregnant and she is wondering if she has a home birth would she have to pay for a private midwife or will one be provided by the HSE?

If you want to avail of the National Home Birth Service, you will first need to contact your Local Health Office. You will be put through to the designated official who is a qualified midwife. You will be sent an information pack.

You then contact a self-employed community midwife (SECM). You and the midwife should fill out an application form for the service. You send the form to the designated official who will assess your eligibility for the service. If your application is accepted, this will entitle you to free antenatal, delivery and postnatal services. The HSE will also provide you with a Home Birth Pack with all you will need for a home delivery. You can find more information about the process in Appendix 4 Pathway of Care on hse.ie.

Alternatively, you can engage a self-employed community midwife (SECM) privately and your antenatal, delivery and postnatal care will be provided by them.

Rates

If you are using maternity services provided by a hospital or HSE scheme, they are provided free of charge.

Many private health insurers provide a grant towards the cost of a home birth.

8. Kevin in Westmeath has been left his grandparents’ house and it is over 100 years old and he wants to do it up but he is wondering because of its age would he be restricted in the work he can carry out on it.

That is a planning issue and his local county council can inform him of any restrictions that may apply to his property.

9. Geraldine’s daughter has been diagnosed with diabetes and she is wondering will all the medication be covered under the Drugs Payment Scheme?

People suffering from certain conditions can get free drugs, medicines and medical and surgical appliances for the treatment of that condition. These are provided under the Long Term Illness Scheme. This scheme is administered by the Health Service Executive (HSE), under Section 59 of the Health Act 1970.

The Long Term Illness Scheme does not depend on your income or other circumstances. You may also be eligible for a Medical Card or GP visit card, depending on your circumstances.

Rules

The medical conditions that qualify under the Long Term Illness Scheme are:

Intellectual disability

Mental illness (for people under 16 only)

Diabetes insipidus

Diabetes mellitus

Also we recommend that you apply for a medical card for your daughter

10. Liam is very unhappy in his job and he is thinking of leaving but he doesn’t have another job to go to. Would he be entitled to Job Seeker’s Allowance if he quits?

If he has ever worked for 104 weeks and worked 13 weeks in 2016, he will qualify for job seekers benefit. This is a non means tested payment. He applied for that payment first

Disqualification and reduction in payment

You may be disqualified from getting Jobseeker's benefit/ Allowance for 9 weeks if you:

Left work voluntarily and without just cause

So this really depends on the exact reasons he is leaving his job.

11. How do you apply for the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme?

To get a place for your child, apply to a participating playschool or daycare centre. You can get a list of participating services from your local City or County Childcare Committee (CCC) see http://www.offalychildcare.com/

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