International Day of Families Citizens Information share supports available for families..

International Day of Families Citizens Information share supports available for families

The International Day of Families is annually held on May 15th and it promotes the importance of a healthy and well-balanced family. It is a day to celebrate your family and what your family means to you.  The importance of this day and what it represents is a great opportunity to highlight some of the information, advice and support Citizens Information can provide to families. 

 

Some of the most common queries they are receiving from families right now are;

 

Working Family Payment, formerly known as Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children. It gives extra financial support to those on a low income. You must be an employee to qualify for it, self-employed aren’t eligible to qualify for the payment. You must also have at least one child under the age of 18 who lives with you or is financially supported by you or is aged 18-22 in full-time education. 

 

The Back to Work Family Dividend scheme aims to help families to move from social welfare into employment. It gives financial support principally to lone parents and long-term jobseeker families with children who find or return to work. If you qualify you will still get a reduced weekly social welfare payment for up to 2 years.

 

If you qualify for either of the two payments above you may be entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, which is a scheme that helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school. It is open from June 1st until September 30th each year. 

 

One-Parent Family Payment (OFP) is a payment for men and women under 66 who are bringing children up without the support of a partner. To get this payment you must have at least one relevant child below 7 years of age, but there are exceptions to this. You must also meet other conditions and you must satisfy a means test.

Job Seekers Transitional (JST) Payment The Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment is a special arrangement under the Jobseeker’s Allowance scheme that aims to support lone parents into the workforce while they have young children. It is available to people who are not cohabiting and whose youngest child is aged between 7 and 13 years inclusive.

Many also enquire about leave options for parents which may be available from their employment such as Paternity Leave, Parental Leave, Parents leave and Adoptive Leave. Each of these types of leave may also carry a possible social welfare entitlement by way of a paid benefit if certain PRSI requirements are met. Another asset to families is the One-Parent Family Payment, a payment for men and women under the age of 66 who are raising children without the support of a partner. 

 

Another great resource to families is the Child Benefit, which is a monthly payment to the parents or guardians of children under 18, who are in full-time education or training. The payment is universal, which means that your income level and social insurance (PRSI) will not affect whether or not you’re entitled to it. 

 

Speaking about International Day of Families, Frances Clifford, Kerry Citizens Information Manager, said, “International Day of Families is a very important date in the calendar year, it is an occasion to  celebrate the importance of families, people, societies and cultures around the world.  Our goal for this day is to let every family know that we are here to advise and support them. So regardless of your query, call your local centre and we will guide you in the right direction, for you”.

 

For anyone needing information, advice or who have an advocacy issue, you can email at tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information and contact details.

 

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