James mcclean job coach employment response north west
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James McClean Job Coach Employment Response North West. Social welfare, taxation, Secondary benefits and work. Key questions you need to ask. What benefit are you on? Rules and regulations on your Benefit What will you keep? What will you lose? +’s and –’s.

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James mcclean job coach employment response north west l.jpg

James McClean

Job Coach

Employment Response North West

Social welfare, taxation, Secondary benefits and work

Key questions you need to ask l.jpg
Key questions you need to ask.

What benefit are you on?

Rules and regulations on your Benefit

What will you keep? What will you lose?

+’s and –’s

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Types of payment you will most likely encounter.

DA Disability Allowance

DB Disability Benefit.

IP Invalidity Pension

BP Blind Pension

UA Unemployment Assistance (Dole)

UB Unemployment Benefit (Stamps)

Disablement Pension / Unemployability Supplement.

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Stamp based versus Means tested

Stamp based means you must have a certain number of Stamps or PRSI contributions to qualify.

Means tested means that your “means” and possibly means of your spouse or partner may be taken into account when calculating eligibility.

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If you take up Rehabilitative Employment, while on Disability Allowance or Blind Pension the first E120 of earnings is disregarded in the means test. If on Invalidity Pension you may work up to 20 hours. You will require medical evidence from your GP and written approval from the Department of Social Welfare. Employment on a CE scheme will be treated as rehabilitative.

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IP Invalidity Pension

Longer term version of Disability Benefit. Generally you would need to be on DB for at least one year before you would apply for this payment unless in exceptional circumstances such as diagnosed as terminally ill etc.

Higher rate of payment than DB and also includes free travel and is a “passport” to applying for other secondary benefits such as free TV licence, electric and phone

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Paid in recognition of the difficulty that an individual with a disability will have in obtaining employment as opposed to someone of the same age and sex who does not have a disability.

Individuals means are assessed but for someone living with parents then income of parents are not taken into account.

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Your means and means of your partner / spouse are taken into account.

To qualify you must fulfill three conditions :


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Blind Pension

Similar to Disability Allowance

Person may qualify for Blind Supplement as well but will probably lose it if taking up employment due to means testing by Health Services Executive who administer the Supplement.

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DB Disability Benefit.

Unable to work due to illness or disability.

Must have PRSi contributions to qualify for this payment.

(Be careful! As if you have less than 260 paid contributions you may only receive this for 12 months)

Generally seen as a short term payment (If you were off work for two weeks or so with the “flu” this is the payment you would be receiving)

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UB Unemployment Benefit

  • Very similar to UA except you are entitled to draw this benefit based on your PRSI contributions so you are not means tested.

  • Normally look at your record of contributions fronm two years previously so if you were making claim in 2005 then you would need to have the correct amount of contributrions in 2003.

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Disablement Pension

If you have had an injury at work and have claimed occupational injury benefit then you may qualify for this.

The injury must have resulted in a residual disability.

< 20% loss of faculty theen you recieve a lump sum payment.

>20% loss you will be awarded a pension payable alomg wth other payment such as DB or IP.

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DB or IP Rehabilitative employment

Before anyone on DB or IP can take up employment and keep their benefit they must ABSOLUTLY apply to Social and Family affairs to do so. This is called applying for an exemption. The work must be classed as “Rehabilitative” BY the Department and an exemption will normally be granted for 6 or 12 months. A further exemption may be granted at the end of that period if the work is deemed to be rehabilitative or fitting that person out for taking up alternative employment or that the persons health,e.g. Mental health is improving through engagement in that employment. Normally takes about 6 weeks for exemption to be granted or not.

The person can work up to 20 hours per week and they can earn as much as they want / can without it affecting the rate of IP they are receiving. Spouse/partner's payment be be affected if it is means tested.

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Example of effects on partners means tested payment.

If working 1,2 or 3 days earning €120.00 per week.they would disregard approx €44.44 and then deduct half of the difference off partners payment so €120.00-€44.44= €75.56. €75.56/2= €37.28 deduction from spouse/partner payment. If working 4,5 or 6 days days earning €120.00 per week.they would disregard approx €88.88.and then half of the difference off partners payment so €120.00-€88.88= €31.12. €31.12/2= €15.56 deduction from spouse/partner payment. If both working then both would lose the above rates.

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Retention of Secondary benefits

Generally, you will automatically retain any secondary benefits you are receiving such as Free Trave,l when engaged in APPROVED rehabilitative employment but be aware that means tested payments or benefits such as Rent allowance, Medical card, Mobility allowance, Blind Welfare allowance etc MIGHT be affected by earnings either up to or above the €120.00 threshold mentioned. For example there is a disregard by The HSE of €120.00perweek from rehabilitative employment when assessing for Rent Allowance but there is no automatic disregard when assessing Medical card eligibility and it is solely at the discretion of each HSE area office whether to grant the medical card or not.

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Rules for working whilst on Unemployment Assistance

Contrary to belief you CAN legally work whilst drawing “Dole”!

Maximum days of work are 3 in each working week.

Example :Single person working 3 days and earning €70.00 per day.

Disregard first €10.00per day, they lose 60% of balance from Dole. So €60.00*60% =€36.00 multiplied by 3 days =€108.00 deducted from “Dole” payment of €148.80. Income would be, earnings = €210.00 +Dole of €40.80.

There is NO €10 disregard if person is married so they would lose 60% of the whole €70.00 per day worked which is a deduction of €42.00 per day of their Dole.

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Rules for working whilst on UnemploymentBenefit

You can work up to a maximum of 3 days per week and you lose a days UB for each day worked, even if you only work for 2 hours in a day it is classed as a days work. Income disregards or amount earned do not affect your UB payment.

Remember whether on UA or UB you are expected to be actively seeking full time employment on the days you are not working so if a client only wants to or is unable due to illness / disability to seek full time employment then this payment may not suit them as they may be asked to provide evidence of pursuing full time employment by their Social and Family Affairs office.

If a client becomes ill or disabled whilst in receipt of UA or UB they can apply for DB, IP, DA,BP or possibly Supplementary Allowance or Occupational Injury Benefit.

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Employment Support Scheme- Fas provide financial support to an employer who takes on a person with a disability.

Workplace/Equipment Adaptation Grant- Provides funding up to 6,348 to make the workplace more accessible or equipment easier to use

Supported Employment Programme- In conjunction with the Health Board, a job coach is available to approach employers and assist in any way they can.

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New employee must gain a Tax Credit (used to be Tax free allowance) or employer is obliged to tax their earnings at emergency tax rate. This is refundable after Tax credit has been applied for and gained, refund is paid directly by the employer if claimed during the same tax year, if claimed after that then apply to Revenue Commissioners.

Fill a Form 12A and send to Revenue commissioners to gain your Tax Credit

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What is Taxable and what is not?

Disability Allowance is Not Taxable income.

Blind Pension IS Taxable but recipients are entitled to extra Tax credits.

First 6 weeks of Disability Benefit is Not taxable and after that only the adult portion is taxable i.e. any DB claimed for dependent children is not taxable at all.

Income arising from investments made with compensation arising from court awards for example a road traffic accident and where this is the sole or main income for the person then it is exempt from DIRT. and certain other taxes.

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Pay Related Social Insurance

ALL employees MUST have some form of “stamp” put on for them by the Employer.

Class J stamp at least but if earnings are more than approx. €36 per week then class “A” stamp is required.

Employees holding a Medical Card only have to put on a class A2 stamp.

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What does a “Stamp” entitle me to?

Occupational Injury Benefit (employees are covered for accident or disease that occurs during course of their employment duties, even travelling directly to or from their employment!)

Build up entitlement to Stamp based payments / benefits such as DB, IP, Contributory Old age pension, Dental and optical benefits

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Disabled Persons Grant

This is a grant paid by the County Council to adapt houses for people with disabilities. Works include provision of ramps, widening of doorways, adding a downstairs bedroom or bathroom etc. They pay 90% of the cost up to 20,320 for private houses. Where a house is being built specifically for a person with a disability there is a grant of 12,700 available. Apply to the local Co.Co.

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Free Travel Pass

Who qualifies?

Everyone over 66 and living in the state

Anyone on Disability Allowance, Blind Pension or Invalidity Pension

People who transferred to Retirement Pension from DA or Invalidity at 65

Anyone receiving Carer’s Allowance

Note: You may also apply for a Companion Pass if you are medically certified as unfit to travel alone

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Transport and Travel

Disabled Person’s Parking Card

Allows people to park in designated parking areas and free of charge in disc parking areas. It is valid for 2 years and costs 25 euro. It applies to the person not the car. You will automaticall qualify if you have a Primary Medical Certificate. Can be used abroad. Forms available from Irish Wheelchair Association, Ballinagappa Road, Clane, Co.Kildare. Tel 045 893094

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Transport and Travel

Disabled Drivers and Passengers Tax Relief

You must have a Primary Medical Certificate.

You may claim a refund /exemption of VAT and VRT on the price of the car and a refund of VAT on price of any necessary adaptations.

Repayment of excise duty on fuel up to 600 gallons a year.

Exemption from motor tax.

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Transport and Travel

Motorised Transport Grant

This is a means tested Health Board grant towards buying/adapting a car for someone with a severe disability to help them get or keep employment.

You must be over 17 and under 66 and hold a full driving licence.

If you get the grant you will not get Mobility Allowance for 3 years.

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Transport and Travel Procedures

Mobility Allowance

This is a means tested Health Board payment for people who are unable to walk or for whom the exertion required to walk would be dangerous.

You must be between 16 and 66.

It is paid monthly and you will only get the lower rate if you claim the Disabled Drivers and Passengers Relief. High rate 156euro, Low rate 78

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Rent Allowance

If your client moves to rented accommodation to pursue employment they may qualify for Rent Allowance from the local HSE. Please check with your area what is the maximum permissible rent as say for example the “cap” is €85 per week and your client moves into a flat at €90 per week then they would not be entitled to any Rent Allowance.

Local Authority housing rent is normally based on income so if client is unemployed then they would be on the lowest rent but this might increase if they take up employment but there is a limit to the amount of increase on rent they can apply each year and now many local authorities are disregarding a certain amount of income from Rehabilitative employment for people with disabilities when reviewing rents.

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Household Benefits package

People on DA, BP, or IP can apply for this which would give them free T.V. Licence, free electricity units, free telephone units and they may also qualify for Living Alone Allowance and free fuel.

People on DB cannot apply for the household benefits package but it is worth checking eligibility if they are living with someone who would qualify in their own right

They are better to apply before they take up employment