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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Social Welfare support for people who live alone

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A. Yes, there is a payment called the Living Alone Increase which is paid to people on certain Social Welfare payments who live alone. From January 2022, the weekly Living Alone Increase will increase by €3 from €19 to €22.

If you are 66 years or over and live alone, you will qualify if you are getting one of the following payments:

* State Pension (Contributory)
* State Pension (Non-Contributory)
* Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
* Widow's/Widower's Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme
* Incapacity Supplement under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme
* Deserted Wife's Benefit

You will also qualify if you are under 66, live alone and are getting Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension, Incapacity Supplement or Blind Pension.

To get the increase in your payment you must live completely alone. However, there are some exceptions:

* If you are living in an extension of a family member's home, for example, in a granny flat, you can qualify for the increase if you can show that you have facilities to cook and eat alone. You must also have your own living/dining and sleeping accommodation.

* You may also qualify as living alone if you are aged or infirm and have a friend or relative to stay for security reasons at night-time only. The friend or relative must not contribute to the household financially.

* The increase may also be payable if you live alone during the day but stay with relatives or friends at night or if you live alone during the week but have a relative to stay at the weekend (the living alone condition is satisfied as long as the relative has a permanent home address elsewhere).

* You will also qualify if you live alone but occasionally take in paying guests (for example, during a local festival). However, if you run a bed and breakfast business (even for part of the year) you will not qualify.

* People who live in sheltered accommodation may qualify if they are regarded as living independently within the institution. You will not qualify if you share dormitory accommodation with others, or have round-the clock supervision or nursing care.

* People who live in nursing homes will not qualify as they cannot be regarded as living completely or mainly alone.

To apply you must complete the Living Alone Increase application form, which you can get from your local Citizens Information Centre or Social Welfare office. You then send the completed form to the section of the Department of Social Protection that pays your main pension or benefit.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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