• Back To School Clothing And Footwear Allowance

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    Information
    The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) is to help you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children attending school. The scheme operates from 1 June to 30 September each year.

    The Allowance is provided by the Health Service Executive as part of the Supplementary Welfare Scheme.

    To get the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, you (the parent or guardian) must meet a number of conditions:

    You must be getting certain social welfare payments or payments for training, employment schemes or adult education
    Your total household income must be below a certain amount
    The child/student must be between 2 and 22 years before 1 October of the year you apply and must be in full-time education at a recognised school or college
    Rules
    You may qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance if you are in one of these groups:

    You are getting a social welfare payment (including Family Income Supplement) or a Health Service Executive payment, or
    You are taking part in an approved employment scheme, or
    You are taking part in a recognised education or training course
    You are involved in an Area Partnership Scheme, or
    You are attending a FÁS, Fáilte Ireland or LES training scheme
    Income limits
    To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, your total household income must be below the amounts set out in the table below.

    Your total household income is your main social welfare or Health Service Executive payment, the income of any dependent children on Youthreach and any other income you may have including wages (before tax, but excluding PRSI and reasonable travelling expenses). Savings and investments (including property, but not your home) are assessed as follows:

    Capital Weekly means assessed
    First €5,000 not taken into account
    Next €10,000 €1 per €1,000
    Next €25,000 €2 per €1,000
    Balance €4 per €1,000

    Any income you get from Rent Supplement or Mortgage Interest Supplement, Family Income Supplement, Blind Welfare Allowance, Rehabilitative Training Allowance, rehabilitative employment (up to €120 per week), Home Help, Domiciliary Care Allowance, Mobility Allowance and Higher Education Grants Scheme is not counted.

    Couples 2010
    Income limits for a couple Couple with Income limit in 2010
    1 child €563.60
    2 children €593.40
    3 children €623.20
    4 children €653*

    *The income limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional child.

    Lone Parent 2010
    Income limit for a lone parent Lone parent with Income limit in 2010
    1 child €410.10
    2 children €439.90
    3 children €469.70
    4 children €499.50*

    *The income limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional child.

    People on Back to Education Allowance or VTOS
    If you are on a Back to Education Allowance or VTOS, you can apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance. You will be assessed using the standard rules and your total household income must be below the income shown above.

    People on certain back to work schemes
    There are some special conditions for people who are on Back to Work Allowance (Employees), Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Community Employment, Job Initiative, Revenue Job Assist, Rural Social Scheme and the Community Services Programme/Social Economy Programme (Grant Aided Employees).

    If you were on a social welfare or Health Service Executive payment before going onto one of these schemes, you will first be assessed using the standard means test for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance.

    If you fail to qualify using the standard means test, you will be re-assessed to find out if you can retain the Allowance as a secondary benefit under the different back to work schemes. In the re-assessment you can keep your entitlement to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance or apply for it if you did not have an eligible child before now, as long as your gross household income is less than €317.43.

    In the re-assessment of means, the value of the Back to Work Allowance, Back to Enterprise Allowance and Family Income Supplement is not taken into account in the calculation of your gross household income.

    The people most likely to qualify using the secondary benefit (€317.43) assessment are people getting Back to Work Allowance or Back to Work Enterprise Allowance.

    Rates
    The rate of the allowance paid for each eligible child aged 2-11 before 1st October 2010 is €200.

    The rate of the allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-17 before 1st October 2010 is €305.

    The allowance is also paid, at the higher rate, for each child aged 18-22, if you are getting an increase your social welfare payment for that child and he/she is in full-time education.

    An additional €215 is paid for children aged 18, if you are getting at least one of the following:

    An increase in your social welfare payment for that child
    A Family Income Supplement payment which includes that child
    This means, a child aged 18 will get a Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance of €520.

    How to apply
    The scheme is open from 1 June to 30 September.

    To apply, fill in an application form for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (pdf). You can also get a form at your local Health Center.

    Appeals
    If you are unhappy with the decision on your application, you should write to the Appeals Officer at your Health Service Executive Area, setting out the reason why you are not happy with the decision.

    Where to apply

    Where you send your completed application form depends on the county you live in.

    Check on the community welfare service website to find out where to send your application.

    It may take a number of weeks to process your application.

    Last Updated: 02/09/2010
    Subject Terms: supplementary benefits, education View this document
    In English
    As Gaeilge
    Contact Us
    If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on lo-call 1890 777 121* or on +353 (0) 21 452 1600 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre. *Please note that the rates charged for the use of 1890 numbers may vary among different service providers.

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