KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Financial aid with the rising cost of living

March 18th, 2023 11:50 AM

By Southern Star Team

If you are a business owner, you will have easier access to the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) to help with businesses energy costs. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Share this article

THE government announced some new cost of living supports on February 21st. Here’s how some of them will help:

People getting social welfare payments 

In April, if you are getting the Working Family Payment or any weekly long-term social welfare payment that qualifies for the Christmas Bonus, you will get a once-off payment of €200. 

Long term payments include State Pensions, Carers Allowance, Carers Benefit, Farm Assist, Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension and One-Parent Family payments. (To get the full list, contact your local Citizens Information Centre)

You will only get one €200 payment even if you get more than one qualifying social welfare payment. 

In June, you will get an extra €100 for each child with your monthly Child Benefit payment. 

Child Benefit is paid to parents or guardians of children under 16 years. You may also get it, if your child is aged 16 or 17 years in full-time education or full-time training or has a disability and cannot support themselves

State exam fees

If you have a child taking the Leaving Certificate or Junior Cycle examination, there will be no exam fees in 2023. 

School transport

If your child uses the School Transport Scheme, the fee for the school year 2023-2024 will be reduced to €50 for a primary school child and €75 for a secondary school child. The maximum fee for a family will be €125. 

The scheme provides transport for children who live over a certain distance from the appropriate school. Even if your child meets the criteria for school transport, a place is not guaranteed. You can apply now. 

Help for business owners

If you are a business owner, you will have easier access to the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) to help with businesses energy costs. 

• Your business will qualify if it has had a 50% increase in electricity or gas costs (up from 30% increase). This can apply from 1 September 2022.

• The amount you get back will increase to 50% of the cost of eligible electricity and gas bills (up from 40%).

• The Scheme is extended to May 31st.

VAT will remain at the 9% reduced rate until August 31st for hospitality services, and until October 31st for gas and electricity. 

Additional Needs Payment

The Additional Needs Payment can help you with an expense that you cannot pay from your weekly income. The amount that you can get depends on your circumstances and the type of help you need. You can get the Additional Needs Payment for:

• An increase in your fuel or electricity costs

• Essential repairs to property, including motor vehicles and replacing household appliances and furniture

• Funeral costs

• Deposits for private rented accommodation

• Bedding and cooking utensils, if you are setting up home for the first time

• Food, clothing and shelter after an emergency event such as a fire or flood

• Recurring travel costs to hospital

• Visiting a relative in hospital or prison

This is not a complete list, other expenses can be covered too.

Tags used in this article

Share this article