VAI along with so many other people and organisations are making and reviewing decisions based on current government guidelines and will keep you updated on our website News section and with emails to our members.
We have outlined the official supports available during the crisis below.
The Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht have an Arts Unit that VAI members, artists and people in the arts sector in general who have questions about the Government supports available to them, can email their question to email@example.com and include a telephone number. The Arts Unit will try to respond to them by email or phone as soon as possible.
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Income Support Helpline for COVID -19 is 1890 800 024 (Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm).
For queries on all DEASP Schemes and other supports available contact Citizens Information 0761 07 4000.
Contact our VAI Help Desk at 01 6729488 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Supports Available during the COVID-19 Crisis
Income Support Schemes
Funding for Artists & Arts Organisations
Primary References and Go to places for information
1. Income Support Schemes
COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
Both employees and self-employed people can qualify for the COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit.
On 6 August 2020, the Government announced that workers who live in direct provision who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or who have been advised to self-isolate, can access the COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit.
You can apply for enhanced Illness Benefit, if you:
- Are suspected of having COVID-19 and are told by a doctor or the Health Service Executive (HSE) to self-isolate or
- Are diagnosed with COVID-19
To qualify for COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit, you must:
- Be aged between 18 and 66
- Have a medical certificate called a ‘Certificate of incapacity for work’ from a doctor or have a text or letter notification from the HSE to support your application
- Be employed or self-employed and have worked in the 4 weeks before the date of your medical certification
- Have a current contract of employment, if you are an employee
To get the payment, you must have a medical certificate called a ‘Certificate of incapacity for work’ from your own doctor or have a letter or text notification from the HSE telling you that you have been identified as having contact with someone who has COVID-19.
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or if you are medically required to self-isolate, there are no waiting days for payment of enhanced Illness Benefit.
COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit is a temporary measure during the public health emergency. It will be in place until 31 March 2021.
Illness Benefit contact centre – (01) 704 3300 or 1890 928 400
For more see HERE.
Other Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Schemes
If you were unemployed before the pandemic you may apply for regular DEASP schemes. If you are employed or self employed but your hours working have been reduced rather than stopped you may be eligible for other DEASP income support schemes. Some schemes listed below. We recommend that you contact Citizens Information directly for advice on what scheme would be best for your situation, call them on 0761 074000.
- Jobeeker’s Allowance for Professional Artists – (self employed) – means tested. VAI can provide Professional Members with certificates to apply for this scheme.
- Jobseeker’s Benefit (for employees) – based on your PRSI contributions
- Jobseeker’s Benefit (self-employed) – based on PRSI contributions
- Jobseeker’s Allowance – (unemployed, not self employed) means tested
- Short time Work Support Payment (if your working hours are reduced to 3 days or less per week) – based on your PRSI contributions
We always recommend to artists that contacting Citizens Information can help to find out what is the best scheme to apply for, as they will look at your situation as a whole – income, means, dependents etc. and advise on what scheme is best. Their number is 0761 07 4000.
Grants for self-employed people
If you are self-employed and have closed your COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you may be able to get an Enterprise Support Grant of up to €1000. The grant is to help small business reopen. You must apply for the grant within 4 weeks of closing your COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment claim.
You can find more information about supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
2. Funding for Artists & Organisations
The Arts Council has a number of Grants and Awards schemes that are currently open for applications. These can be found on the Arts Council Website: artscouncil.ie/available-funding/
Arts Council Professional Development Award 2020
The purpose of the Professional Development Award is to support practicing artists and arts practitioners to upskill through access to a professional development or training opportunity.
Applicants can propose a specific once-off training or developmental opportunity. This can be accessed digitally or in person, in-line with COVID-19 guidelines. Examples might include:
- Creative development supports, such as participation in workshops, specialist courses, master classes, research projects, residencies, coaching/mentoring, attendance at conferences/seminars
- Career development supports, such as strategic and/or financial planning, promotional, presentation or digital skills, proposal writing
The proposal may be to work with an individual or organisation based in Ireland or abroad.
Full guidelines and application form here: artscouncil.ie/Funds/Professional-Development-Award/
Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht
Stream D – Cultural Capital Scheme 2019-2022
Following the announcement by Minister Catherine Martin, T.D, a range of capital funding measures will be provided to assist in the re-opening of theatres, arts centres and culture venues under Stream D of the Cultural Capital Scheme 2019-2022. The measures are designed to support arts and culture facilities in preparation for staff, artists and audiences returning to venues to reopen in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business and Return to Work Safety Protocols. There is a high degree of flexibility which will be matched by timely decision-making processes that will allow organisations to undertake immediately, necessary capital adaptations to their buildings so that they comply with the HSE COVID-19 related public health protection measures.
Organisations that hold existing capital grants may immediately request by email to email@example.com the re-purposing of all or part of the grant towards necessary works and equipment to allow reopening. Organisations can apply to re-purpose up to €10,000 of their grant which can be used to fund eligible costs at a 90% funding rate or up to €5,000 which will not require match funding. Repurposed funding required for the original purpose of the grant will be restored when required at a later date.
Organisations that do not hold a capital grant, will be able to apply for funding from Tuesday 14 July 2020.
For more see: chg.gov.ie/arts/creative-arts/grants-and-funding
VAI continues to receive notices of Jobs and Opportunities that are open to individual artists. This includes open calls for exhibitions, residencies and funding opportunities We will update these on our website as a matter of urgency, and will continue to publish them via the eBulletin and Social Media.
Go to Jobs & Opportunities.
3. Primary References and Go to places for information
Government Guidelines: gov.ie
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Income Support Helpline for COVID -19: 1890 800 024 (Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm)
We always recommend Citizens Information for advice that is not specific to our sector and in particular any advice needed on Social Welfare. You can reach them on 0761 074000 and there is extensive information on their website citizensinformation.ie
MABS – Money Advice and Budgeting Service
MABS is the State’s money advice service, guiding people through dealing with problem debt for more than twenty years.
MABS is free, confidential and independent. MABS Helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm at 0761 07 2000, if you would like to call and discuss your debt issues. MABS will look at your debt as a whole to find the best solution for your situation. MABS can negotiate with creditors, advise on budgeting and on recording your spending.
Read more about MABS.
Arts Council – artscouncil.ie
Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht – firstname.lastname@example.org
HSE on Coronavirus (COVID-19): hse.ie
Threshold – threshold.ie/covid-19/
Contact our VAI Help Desk at 01 6729488 and email@example.com