The Rural Social Scheme

 

The Rural Social Scheme is a government initiative funded by the Department of Social Protection and administered in Co. Monaghan by Monaghan Integrated Development CLG.

The scheme provides an opportunity for farmers or their spouses, and in some cases their children or their siblings to earn additional income through employment provided in their local communities. The main aim of the RSS is to use the skills and knowledge of the local farming community in the development of local amenities, facilities, and services. All the work carried out by participants on the RSS will be community-based.

Types of Work

  • Environmental services (conservation and maintenance of national walkways)
  • Caring services (childcare, care of older people) 
  • General community services (newsletters or information provision for communities)
  • Para-educational services community playgroups
  • Energy conservation work in community buildings
  • Social care for all age groups and people with disabilities
  • Caretaking, securing, and supervising community buildings and spaces
  • Renovation of community and sporting facilities, including the regeneration and enhancement of community, recreation, and sporting spaces
  • Work in support of cultural and heritage activities
  • Community administration and community event management
  • Coaching for sporting activities

The types of work carried out under the RSS include:19.5 hours per week and these hours will be based on a farmer-friendly schedule in order to ensure that it does not impede farming activities. To be eligible to participate on the RSS applicants must be actively farming, be between 25 and 66 years of age AND be in receipt of one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection

  • Farm Assist.
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit, if previously on a FÁS Community Employment Scheme or the Rural Social Scheme in the previous 12 months.
  • Disability Allowance.
  • One-Parent Family Payment.
  • Widow(ers)/Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension (contributory and non-contributory).

In most cases the rate of payment on the RSS will be equal to the current rate of payment in addition to a top-up payment of €22.50. There is a minimum weekly payment of €215.50. A class A9 PRSI contribution is paid on behalf of all RSS participants and the payment is not subject to the Universal Social Charge.

In order for an applicant to be deemed eligible to participate on Rural Social Scheme, they must provide proof that they are actively farming by providing a copy of: Their application for the EU Basic Payment Scheme for the current year, which includes a valid herd number together with a copy of the associated receipts.

OR  for online forms taken from The Department of Agriculture website, the following will be accepted:

A copy of the review and submit page and a copy of the confirmation page for the year prior to the participant applying for Rural Social Scheme • A copy of the application summary details as above

Eligible Organisations

  • The work placements are proposed and provided by community and voluntary organisations.
  • The organisations must provide good quality work opportunities that are of benefit to the community.
  • Organisations with a proposed work placement should register with MID.
  • They will be asked to submit an application detailing the work and the number of participants requested.
  • MID will then assess and make a decision on the proposal.

The criteria for eligible organisations is as follows

  • Be Community, voluntary and not-for-profit in nature: and
  • Have a recognised informal or formal/legal structure; and
  • Have a track record of working with or providing services to and within their communities; and
  • Demonstrate a capacity of managing the candidate in the work placement with the supervisory support of the Implementing Body.
  • Be able to provide a beneficial placement experience for the Person(s) in placement

There are 72 RSS Positions in Co. Monaghan and MID have a panel in place for interested candidates to join the RSS Scheme or for Community Groups wanting to become placement providers. 

If you are interested in becoming an RSS participant or if you are a community and voluntary organisation interested in applying to host RSS participants or seeking further information on the scheme you can contact any of the following:

Team Leader & South Monaghan Area - Aurelia Callan - 042 9749500 /  

North Monaghan - Kathryn McCague - 087 7927902 /  

West Monaghan - Geraldine Maguire - 087 4171052 /  

Southside Partnership - Social Enterprise Support