I pay maintenance for my 3 children, aged 9,6 and 4 but my work has ended for the time-being due to Covid19 so I am in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) of €350 a week. I can’t afford the €120 I usually pay. What should I do as it is a court order?

For now it may be to negotiate with your children’s other parent to pay what you can afford to pay, now that you are on a reduced income. It might be helpful to provide a letter stating what you are paying so that if there is a social welfare payment being made, such as the One Parent Family Payment, then she may be able to have the payment adjusted whilst the maintenance payment is reduced.

It may be useful to contact your solicitor, if you have one or the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) at www.flac.ie  for advice on what to do next or the Legal Aid Board legal and mediation helpline can be contacted on 1890 6150200 or 01 646 9600 and the lines are open from Monday to Friday 10.00am to 12.30pm and from 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

I am a single parent with a 15 year old. I was working full time until the business closed due to Covid 19 and I am now on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. I am hoping to be able to start work again in July but I am running out of savings and worried that I cannot keep up with rent payments for our apartment.

You may be eligible for Rent Supplement under the new rules that apply due to theCovid 19 pandemic. You do not have to have a Housing Needs Assessment with a local authority nor do you have to apply for Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) instead you can apply directly to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection via your local social welfare office or Intreo centre. The means test for Rent Supplement has also been increased to €350 for a single person plus €40 per child, which is an increase in the usual means test that applies.  You should apply right away and before the current deadline of 19 June.