Most schools around the country will re-open within the next fortnight after the summer holidays. It’s an exciting time for both children and their parents, though it can be heart rending too especially if you have a child starting primary or secondary school.
There’s a lot of expense associated with children returning to school. The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is designed to help families with the cost of uniforms and shoes for school-going children. The scheme opened on 1 June and the final date for applications is 30 September 2013. Currently the processing time of claims is three weeks.
Many receive an automatic payment and do not have to apply, i.e. if you received the allowance last year and your circumstances have not changed you should have received a letter stating when and how your allowance will be paid this year. Automatic payments were issued from the week starting 15 July.
Eligibility criteria to apply includes that applicants must be in receipt of certain social welfare payments or participating in training, employment or education schemes (view the list here). Your child or children must be aged between 4 and 22 on or before 30 September in the current year. If aged between 18-22, the child/ren must be in full-time education.
Your total weekly household income – which includes wages (before tax, excluding PRSI and standard travel allowance of €20 per week), maintenance, savings, investments, main social welfare or Health Service Executive payment and income of any dependent children on a Youthreach Programme – must be less than the amounts below.
|Lone parent with||Income limit|
*The income limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional child.
The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2013 is €100. The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2013 is €200.
Application Forms for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance can be obtained:
- At your local social welfare office
- By texting ‘Form BTSCFA’ with your name and address to 51909
- And on welfare.ie.
Completed forms should be sent to the Department of Social Protection, PO Box 131, Letterkenny, County Donegal. Enquiries can be made to Locall 1890 66 22 44.
For detailed information on the allowance and eligibility criteria, please click here.