Back To School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a payment from the Department of Social Protection under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme. It is aimed at supporting families with the cost of school uniforms and footwear.

To be eligible for the payment there are a number of conditions:

  • A parent or guardian must be in receipt of a social welfare payment or certain payments for training, education or employment schemes. This may include those attending approved employment schemes, for example, Community Employment schemes or Tús, as well as recognised education or training courses.
  • Children must be aged between 4 and 17 (by the 30th September) and in full-time education at a recognised school or college. Those aged between 18 and 22 must be in full time second level education. It is not paid for dependents attending further education or third level.

Applications for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance closed on 30 September 2023. Applications for the 2024 payment will open in June 2024. 

This is a means-tested payment, so income limits apply, based on your family size. Your total household income must be less than the amounts set out in the ‘Weekly income limits’ table below.  

Weekly income limits for 2023

  • Number of Children
  • 1 Child
  • 2 Children
  • 3 Children
  • 4 Children
  • Income Limit
  • €642
  • €692
  • €742
  • €792*

*The income limit is increased by €50 for each additional dependent child. 

The scheme usually operates from June to September each year. During this time you may apply if you think you are eligible. If you have received the payment before and you are still eligible, it should be paid to you automatically. If you have not received a letter by mid-June to say that you will be paid the allowance, you need to apply again. 


In 2023, the amounts paid were as follows:

  • Each eligible child aged 4-11 on 30 September: €260
  • Each eligible child aged 12-22 on 30 September: €385
  • Children aged between 18 and 22 years must be returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the Autumn of 2024.

How to Apply

Apply online here or at your local INTREO office.


If you are unhappy with the decision on your application, you should request a review, within 21 days of getting your decision, by sending a letter to the Review Section at the address below. You letter should set out why you are unhappy with the decision, and ask that the claim be reviewed.


Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Review Section

Social Welfare Services

Department of Social Protection

College Road


F91 T384

Tel: 071 919 3318 or 0818 111 113



There is more information on the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance on the Citizen’s Information website here.