Working Family Payment (WFP) formerly Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly tax-free payment that gives help to those on low pay. It is available to employees with children. 

Getting Social Welfare Payments  In certain circumstances, you are allowed to keep social welfare payments (or at least part of them) when you start work.  For example:  If you work part-time up to 3 days per week you may be entitled to retain part of your Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance. If you are getting One-Parent Family Payment you are allowed to earn a certain amount each week and keep your payment. If you are getting a means-tested disability payment, such as Disability Allowance or Blind Pension, you may earn a certain amount from rehabilitative work without it affecting your payment. If you are getting Illness Benefit (for at least 6 months) or Invalidity Pension you can apply for Partial capacity benefit and keep part of your payment, depending on how restricted your capacity for work is.

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Under this scheme you can become self-employed and keep a certain amount of your social welfare payment. Find out more about the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance.

Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. HAP will eventually replace long-term Rent Supplement. Under the HAP scheme take up full-time employment and keep your housing support. You must advise the Local Authority of change in circumstance to ensure you are complying with your original contract and avoid any over/under-payment. 

Retaining Medical Card  If you are unemployed and you are returning to full-time or part-time work, you can keep your medical card for 3 years provided you have been getting one of the following for 12 months or more:
Jobseeker’s Benefit     Jobseeker’s Allowance     One-Parent Family Payment
Illness Benefit       Disability Allowance      Blind Person   or
Have been on an employment incentive scheme or educational opportunity scheme

If you take up full-time employment you will retain your medical card for 3 years from the date you start work.  If you take up part-time employment the three-year period starts from the date your income exceeds the relevant medical card guideline. 

Tax & PRSI  If you are on low pay you may not be liable to pay any tax because your tax credits and reliefs are more than or equal to the amount of tax you are due to pay. People with an income below  €13,000 do not pay the Universal Social Charge (USC). People aged 65 and over are subject to the same general tax rules as everyone else but they do get tax exemption limits below which they pay no tax and some extra tax credits. Revenue’s information leaflet Tax Exemption and Marginal Relief (IT 8) gives information on available exemption limits and tax relief. If you have overpaid income tax or Universal Social Charge, then you can claim a tax refund. Further information about tax is also available from your nearest tax office. If you earn between €38 and €352 you do not have to pay PRSI. However, your employer pays PRSI. More information can be found in our document about your employer’s duty to pay social insurance at www.citizensinformation.ie.

Paternity Benefit is a payment for employed and self-employed people who are on paternity leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). It is paid for 2 weeks and is available for any child born or adopted. You can start paternity leave at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement. You should apply for the payment 4 weeks before you intend to go on paternity leave (12 weeks if you are self-employed).

For further information:
Social Protection   www.welfare.ie  Ennis Office Phone  065 68 67800
Clare County Council   www.clarecoco.ie   Phone 065 6821616
Medical Card  www.medicalcard.ie   Locall 1890 252 919
Revenue  www.revenue.ie   Appointment Phone 061 212840

Free Legal Advice Clinic will be held at Shannon Citizens Information Centre on Monday afternoon June 25th by appointment only. Please call 0761 07 5370