COVID 19 Updates and Links to Official Supports and Information

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 Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media 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 artsunit@tcagsm.gov.ie 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 info@visualartists.ie

Last updated 17 June 2021.


Official Supports Available during the COVID-19 Crisis

Contents:

  1. Income Support Schemes

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
  • Other Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Schemes
  • Supports for self-employed people
  1. Funding for Artists & Arts Organisations

  • Arts Council
  • Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht
  • Local Authorities
  • Other Opportunities
  1. Guidance for Arts & Culture

  • Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht
  • Theatre Forum Guide to Reopening Arts Centres
  • Guidelines for the Safe Presentation of Festivals and Live Events
  • COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines for Young People, Children and Education
  • Indoor Adult Art Classes / Workshops
  1. Primary References and Go to places for information

 


1. Income Support Schemes

The Department of Social Protection have a range of measures to provide income support to people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

From Gov.ie

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on or after 13 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted until 30 June 2021 only.

As part of the government’s National Economic Recovery Plan the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be extended beyond 30 June 2021 for those already getting the payment.

How to qualify

You can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment up to 30 June 2021 if you:

  • are aged between 18 and 66 years old and
  • are currently living in the Republic of Ireland and
  • have lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
  • have been temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
  • were self-employed and your trading income has ceased or reduced to €960 over a rolling 8 week period due to COVID-19 (You must be available to take up full-time employment) and
  • are not in receipt of any income from an employer and
  • are genuinely seeking work

The payment also applies if you:

  • worked in the Republic of Ireland or were a cross border frontier worker or
  • are a non-EU/EEA worker who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
  • are a student (or a non-EU/EEA student) who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic (up to 7 September 2021 only)

or

  • are living in Direct Provision and have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You cannot qualify for this payment if you:

  • voluntarily left your employment or self-employment
  • do not meet the above criteria

You must also inform the department if your circumstances change.

Rate of payment

Applications will be accepted until 30 June 2021 only. The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be paid at 4 rates until 7 September 2021:

  • if you earned €400 or more – you will receive €350 per week
  • if you earned between €300 and €399.99 per week – you will receive €300 per week
  • if you earned between €200 and €299.99 per week – you will receive €250 per week
  • if you earned less than €200 per week – you will receive €203 per week, which is the same as the primary rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit

Earning Self Employment Income

You can earn up to €480 gross through self-employment over a four-week period and retain your full COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

The €480 limit is based on gross income (before tax and PRSI) minus expenses.

A new scheme, the COVID-19 Part Time Job Incentive for the Self-Employed is a further support available to self-employed people who are in receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a Jobseeker’s payment and are resuming self-employment part time.

For more information on COVID-19 Social Welfare Schemes available to a self-employed persons visit: Social-welfare-schemes-available-to-a-self-employed-person/

Contact

Income Support Helpline for COVID-19

Phone number:

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.

A full list of Schemes available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/category/social-welfare/

See also other means tested supports are available such as Fuel Allowance and Rent Supplement

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.

Supports for self-employed people

You can earn up to €480 gross through self-employment over a four-week period and retain your full COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

The €480 limit is based on gross income (before tax and PRSI) minus expenses.

A new scheme, the COVID-19 Part Time Job Incentive for the Self-Employed is a further support available to self-employed people who are in receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a Jobseeker’s payment and are resuming self-employment part time.

The Enterprise Support Grant is available to assist eligible self-employed recipients who close their COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

This will provide business owners with a grant of up to €1,000 to restart their business which was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you claimed the grant in 2020 but found yourself back on COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment in 2021, you will be able to access the €1,000 grant for a second time if you close your COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on or after 1 June 2021.

For more information on COVID-19 Social Welfare Schemes available to a self-employed persons visit: Social-welfare-schemes-available-to-a-self-employed-person/

Apply

Complete the COVID-19 ESG 1 application form  and return it to your local Intreo Centre.

You can find more information about supports for businesses impacted by COVID-19.


2. Funding for Artists & Organisations

Arts Council

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/

A table of Funding Opportunities in 2021 can be viewed here: artscouncil.ie…Funding..Programmes…2021.pdf

Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht

For more see: chg.gov.ie/arts/creative-arts/grants-and-funding

Local Authorities

All City and County Councils allocate annual funding for the arts, they will have a deadline to apply each year, this varies from county to county. It is a good idea to call or to make contact with your local arts officer to find out about funding available in your area and be added to their mailing list for updates. There may be other strands of funding you can access locally such as a Social Enterprise Grant Scheme. You can find contact details for your local arts officer here: Local Authority Arts Offices.

Other Opportunities

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. COVID-19 Guidance for Arts and Culture

The Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht provides regular guidance for the Arts and Culture sector in respect of current restrictions in relation to COVID-19. You can access the latest information here.

The Department also has a dedicated helpdesk for queries about income support. You can send an email to artsunit@chg.gov.ie with a short description of your question along with your telephone number. An official will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your query.

From Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media

Published on 

Last updated on 

Theatre Forum Guide to Reopening Arts Centres

Theatre Forum have produced guidelines for the safe reopening of theatres and arts centres as workplaces available here.

Arts Council COVID-19 Guidelines for the Safe Presentation of Festivals and Live Events

The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland have come together in partnership to develop guidelines in line with the government’s COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 — The Path Ahead to help festival and event organisers minimise the risk of the transmission of COVID-19 at festivals and individual events, and to rebuild confidence and trust among attendees.

The Main Guidance Document is available here.

Helpful examples and templates are also available below:

  • Appendix 1 Event Organiser COVID-19 Response Plan Checklist is available here
  • Appendix 2 Risk Assessment sample is available here
  • Appendix 3 Working Example of an Outdoor Festival Model is available here
  • Appendix 4 Working Example of an Indoor Festival Model is available here
  • Appendix 5 Advice for the safe use of Alcohol-based hand sanitiser is available here

COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines for Young People, Children and Education

The Arts Council has worked with the The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to develop guidance for children and young people’s arts and cultural activities. This guidance will continue to be updated in line with public health measures. The guidance is available here.

Indoor Adult Art Classes / Workshops

The government continues to follow its plan to review and monitor the control of the virus and follow the prevailing public health advice in support of a safe and gradual reopening, in line with Recovery and Resilience: The Path Ahead.  Unfortunately this means that indoor activities, such as organised events including summer camps, group training, exercise, dance and indoor arts/cultural classes will not proceed at present (Information correct as of 26 July 2021, see gov.ie/en/press-release/… for the most up-to-date information.).


4. Primary References and Go to places for information

Government Guidelines: gov.ie
Please keep an eye on the Gov.ie website at gov.ie  for Public health measures in place right now. And gov.ie/en/press-release/… for the most up-to-date information.

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Income Support Helpline for COVID -19: 1890 800 024 (Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm)

Citizens Information
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 Councilartscouncil.ie

Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht – artsunit@chg.gov.ie

HSE on Coronavirus (COVID-19): hse.ie

Threshold –  threshold.ie/covid-19/

Contact our VAI Help Desk at 01 6729488 and info@visualartists.ie

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