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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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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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