Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance - SW 75


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Introduction
Rules
Income Limits
Rates
How and where to apply
Reviews

 

Introduction

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) is a means-tested once-off payment aimed at helping families with the costs associated with children returning to school in the autumn.

You (the parent or guardian) must be getting certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes and your child/ren must be aged between 4 and 17 on or before 30 September of the year you apply or aged between 18 and 22 on or before 30 September if returning to second-level education.

The 2019 scheme is open from 1st June and applications form can be submitted from 24th June 2019.

Rules
 
You may qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance if you are:

Your child must be aged between 4-17 on or before 30 September 2019.  If they are aged between 18-22 they must be returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of 2019.

In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) with your payment. There are some exceptions to this. For example:

  • you may be getting a qualifying payment but you are not getting an increase for your child (because the rules of the scheme do not provide for a child payment) – Maternity Benefit or Adoptive Benefit are examples. In such cases you can still claim BSCFA if you satisfy the other criteria.
  • In other cases an IQC is not paid because the income of your spouse or partner is over the specified limits but if your overall household income is within the limits specified below you may qualify.

You cannot claim BSCFA for a child that is not resident in the State.
 
Foster children are not eligible for the BSCFA (because the financial support foster parents receive from the HSE (Foster Care Allowance) includes help with the cost of clothing and footwear for the child).
 
Note that if you have applied for a social welfare payment or have appealed a decision not to award you a social welfare payment and are waiting for a decision on your application, you should apply for the BSCFA before the scheme closing date of 30 September. Your entitlement will be established when you get a decision on your application or appeal.

Income Limits

To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, your total household income must be less than the amounts set out in the table below.  All your dependent children are taken into account for the income limits (including children who do not qualify for BSCFA, because they are under 4).
 
Your total household income includes social welfare and any other income you may have including wages (before tax, but excluding PRSI and a standard travel allowance of up to €20 per week), maintenance, savings and investments.
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 Child Benefit, Rent Supplement, Working Family Payment, Guardian’s Payments, Blind Welfare Allowance, Rehabilitation Training Allowance, rehabilitative employment (up to €120 per week), Domiciliary Care Allowance, Mobility Allowance is not counted.
Income limits for couples 2019


Couple

Income limit

1 child

€600.70

2 children

€637.70

3 children

€674.70

4 children

€711.70*

*The income limit is increased by €37.00 for each additional dependent child.
Income limits for lone parents 2019



Lone parent 

Income limit

1 child

€435.30

2 children

€472.30

3 children

€509.30

4 children

€546.30*

*The income limit is increased by €37.00 for each additional dependent child.

 

Rates
 
The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2019 is €150.00.

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2019 is €275.00. 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 2019.

How and where to apply

Many customers will receive an automated payment.  Letters will issue to these customers during the month of June. 
If you have not received a letter confirming an automated payment by the end of June you will need to submit an application, even if you received the payment last year.

From 24th June, you can apply online for Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance on www.mywelfare.ie   .  To apply online you must have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account.  If you do not have a Public Services Card, you can make an appointment to get one at www.mywelfare.ie

Alternatively, you can submit an application form.  Application forms will be available from 24th June in:

  • Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection offices,
  • by texting form BTSCFA followed by your name and address to 51909 and
  •  by download from this website. 

Completed application forms should be returned, by the closing date 30th September 2019 to:
 
Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Section,
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection,
Social Welfare Services Office,
College Road,
Sligo,
F91 T384
 
Reviews

If you are unhappy with the decision on your application, you should send a letter to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Review Section at the address below setting out why you are not happy with the decision and asking that the claim be reviewed.  You should request a review within 21 days of getting your decision.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Review Section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
College Road
Sligo
F91 T384

Last modified:14/06/2019
 

 Application Forms

 
 

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