Covid-19 has seen our lives transformed in a matter of weeks; from plans and events cancelled or postponed, living spaces turned into home offices, learning new technologies and not being able to see our nearest and dearest.
It’s times like this that we are reminded we are all part of one global community. Now more than ever, Covid-19 has shown us the power of caring for ourselves and our neighbours.
We’ve seen communities band together, neighbours collect groceries for one another, virtual yoga classes and online music concerts. People in Ireland have shown we are adaptable, connected and resilient.
Here is some important information, resources and support lines that can assist you and your loved ones to get through the next few weeks.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) provides up to date and comprehensive information about Covid-19. It includes an explanation and symptoms of the virus and how to protect yourself and others from Covid-19. https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html
If you are concerned that you have symptoms of Covid-19, you will need to self-isolate and phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone and will arrange a test if necessary.
People who are deaf can contact HSELive using Irish Remote Interpreting Services (IRIS) here: https://slis.ie/iris/#remote-interpreting-iris
IRIS is available from 9am to 7pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday.
To access the service using Irish Sign Language, book an appointment at https://slis.ie/iris/#book-an-appointment or email [email protected]
Safety Net is a FREE GP service based in Dublin open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
You can request an appointment if you have symptoms of Covid-19 by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01-876 5200 or 087-6074632
HSE guidelines for self-isolation: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/self-isolation-and-limited-social-interaction.html
For people who seek help while in isolation, a self-isolation site has been set up to connect people offering help or seeking help. You can seek local help or volunteer to lend a hand in your local area here: https://randall.ie/help/
The HSE provides a guide to minding your mental health: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html
Samaritans Phone Support: Samaritans offer emotional support 24/7, 365 days a year on freephone 116 123, by text 087 260 90 90 or by email [email protected]
Childline ISPCC; Childline is Ireland’s 24-hour national listening service for young people up to the age of 18 – freephone 1800 666666. https://www.ispcc.ie/
Aware Support Line; The Aware Support Line service (1800 80 48 48) is available to anyone, over 18, who is seeking support and information about issues relating to their own mood or the mood of a friend or family member, or who experiences depression or bipolar https://www.aware.ie/
HSE Drug and Alcohol Helpline; THE HSE Drug and Alcohol helpline – 1800 459 459 – provides a free confidential place where you can talk through your concerns about drugs or alcohol and get information about services.
To get urgent help for mental health issues, call 999 or 112
A full list of mental health supports can be found here: https://www2.hse.ie/services/mental-health/services-search/
Illness Benefit: If you been diagnosed with Covid-19, if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are medically certified to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19, you can apply for Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences paid at a rate of €305 per week. This payment will be paid for a maximum of 2 weeks and available for employees and the self-employed.
For more information and how to apply: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/df55ae-how-to-apply-for-illness-benefit-for-covid-19-absences/
Pandemic Unemployment Payment: If you have been laid off or have had your hours of work reduced as a result of Covid-19, you can apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. It includes people who have been in full time, part-time or casual employment, and people who are self-employed.
The payment will be paid for a period of 6 weeks at a flat rate payment of €203. It applies to anyone aged between 18 years and 66 years. In order to apply you must have a PPSN and a bank account.
For more information and how to apply: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/be74d3-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-payment/
Short Time Work Support: If your employer reduces your hours to 3 days or less per week from your normal full-time hours, you can apply for a payment called Short Time Work Support which is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit.
For more information: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/c20e1b-short-time-work-support/
If you have been medically certified to self-isolate or are diagnosed with COVID-19 do not attend your doctor’s office or Intreo Centre
For more information about your employment rights during Covid-19 you can visit: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/employment_rights_during_covid19_restrictions.html
If you are renting and you will have problems with your rent payments as a result of the COVD-19 crisis, you should engage as soon as possible with your landlord.
Threshold’s national Tenancy Protection Service provides advice and support to tenants where there is a tenancy problem or where a tenancy is at risk. Threshold advisors can mediate with landlords and also help with applications for rent supplement. Call 1800 454 454, 9am-9pm, Monday to Friday for more information.
The RTB provides a Dispute Resolution Process with a number of options for landlords and tenants to resolve disputes. You can contact the RTB on 0818 303037 or (01) 702 8100 (8.30am-6.30pm).
Following advice from the HSE, many older people will need to minimize their risk of infection by staying at home during the COVID-19. While many older people can rely on their close knit communities during this difficult period, many will need additional supports.
ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties during the coronavirus restrictions. The support line will be open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024, and hours may be extended to meet demand.
SeniorLine provides a Freefone service every day of the year 10am-10pm, including all public holidays. Callers concerned about coronavirus will get the most up-to-date guidance recommended by Government sources. You can contact Senior Line on 1800 80 45 91. http://www.thirdageireland.ie/news/blog/covid-19-seniorline-offering-reassurance-and-support
If you are a non-EEA citizen who is concerned about your rights and entitlements, immigration status, employment rights or access to health or public services during Covid-19, you can engage with the following services.
Migrant Rights Centre Ireland is a national organisation providing support to migrant workers and their families. It targets families in vulnerable circumstances and tries to improve their social and economic conditions. The MRCI’s drop-in centre provides information, advice and assistance.
Immigrant Council of Ireland is an independent, national organisation which supports migrants coming to Ireland for purposes such as work, study, family reunification, self-employment or to visit. The Immigrant Council of Ireland provides an information service and a limited legal service to immigrants.
Crosscare Migrant Project provides information, support and advocacy to migrants. Its information and referral service is available to immigrants and members of new communities living in Ireland, as well as to intending, existing and returning Irish emigrants.
This blog will be updated as more people request information. If you have any questions regarding the information provided above – please let us know at [email protected]