Civil Legal Aid Scheme Review (February 2023)
Enabling access to justice and related legal services continues to be a core element of the work of CIB-funded services—the Citizens Information Services (CISs), the Citizens Information Phone Service (CIPS), the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and the National Advocacy Service (NAS) for people with disabilities. CIB has contributed to the funding of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) to provide information and advice clinics on legal matters in CISs and is a member of the Consultative Panel of the Legal Aid Board (LAB). In addition, CIB collaborates with LAB and the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) in the operation of Abhaile, the national mortgage arrears resolution service. In 2022, CISs dealt with over 18,000 justice related queries, with the key focus of these being legal aid and advice. Services also assisted clients with around 20,000 queries relating to family relationships and covering issues such as separation and divorce, custody and access to children, maintenance, problems with relationships and domestic violence. Services also dealt with 39,000 employment rights queries and made almost 10,000 referrals to legal services, clinics, or mediation services during 2022. Issues identified in our submission include - complex eligibility rules and out-of-date income thresholds (unchanged since 2006), long waiting times, which can aggravate problems and dishearten applicants; and lack of awareness of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as independent advocacy and mediation. The need to benchmark income assessment to the living wage is one of the recommendations in the submission. Read more….
Civil Legal Aid Scheme Review (February 2023) Civil Legal Aid Scheme Review (February 2023)
Department of Social Protection (DSP) Strategy 2023-2026 (February 2023)
CIB has made a submission to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) in response to an invitation to contribute to the development of its new Statement of Strategy for 2023-2026. The submission acknowledged the important role that CIB has in supporting and supplementing the work of the Department - by informing, enabling and facilitating people to access and benefit from DSP supports. Issues encountered by the public relating to income supports, social protection, access to housing, indebtedness, poverty traps and pathways to work received by CIB in feedback from our funded services provide a useful benchmark for considering the adequacy of existing policies in many of the areas which fall within the remit of the DSP. The submission uses this feedback to inform our response to the Department's consultation on its new Strategy for the next three years. Read more….
Department of Social Protection (DSP) Strategy 2023-2026 (February 2023) Department of Social Protection (DSP) Strategy 2023-2026 (February 2023)