Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance for 2019 Set to Commence

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Ms Regina Doherty TD has announced that the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be made available again this year, and has urged families who are not automatically entitled to make an application before the end of September deadline.

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance provides a once-off payment to eligible families to assist with the extra costs when children start school each autumn. I was very pleased to secure €56 million in Budget 2019 for this year’s scheme.

The income limits for this payment have been adjusted to ensure that the increases in social welfare payment rates introduced by Budget 2019 do not negatively impact on people’s entitlement to the allowance.”

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a nationwide scheme that provides a once-off payment to eligible families towards the cost of school clothing and footwear.

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2019 is €150 while an allowance of €275 is paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2019. 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.

Funding of €56.3 million has been provided for the scheme this year. It will be automatically paid to almost 110,000 families in respect of approx. 200,000 children from the week beginning 8 July to allow families sufficient time to prepare for back to school.

Similar to previous years, the majority of payments will be paid with no application form required.  The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is currently processing these payments and customers will receive written confirmation before the end of this month informing them of their automatic entitlement. The Department will issue payments totalling approximately €40.5 million to these families from the week beginning 8 July.

Families who do not receive notification from the Department of an automated payment by the end of June will need to make an application even if they received a payment last year – the application form will be available from 24 June in all Intreo Centres, via SMS (text Form BTSCFA followed by your name and address to 51909) or by sending an email to BSCFA@welfare.ie and on the Department’s website www.welfare.ie.

There is also an option to apply online this year at www.mywelfare.ie. Customers wishing to avail of this option need to have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account.  Those who do not have a Public Services Card can make an appointment at www.mywelfare.ie to get one.

The closing date for receipt of applications for this year’s Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is 30 September 2019.

The Department is also providing a dedicated phone link that will be open to answer enquiries during business hours 9.00am to 5.00pm.  Anyone wishing to make enquiries about this scheme can contact LoCall 1890 66 22 44.

Important:

To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, a person must be in receipt of certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes and the total household income must be less than the amounts set out in the table below. All dependent children are taken into account for the income limits (including children who do not qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, because they are under the age of 4).

The total household income includes a person’s main social welfare or Health Service Executive payment and any other income they may have including wages (before tax, but excluding employee PRSI and a standard travel allowance of up to €20 per week), maintenance, savings and investments.

Savings and investments (including property, but not the family 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 a family gets 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 2019 are:-

Couple with:  Income Limit  Lone Parent with:   Income Limit
1 child €600.70 1 child €435.30
2 children €637.70 2 children €472.30
3 children €674.70 3 children €509.30
4 children €711.70* 4 children €546.30*

*Limit is increased by €37 for each additional child.