Back to School Allowance Increases

It’s not that long since school finished for most children – but thousands of families will be soon getting the  Back to School Allowance for the next school year.

The Department of Social Protection pays the Back to School payment   automatically to most families that qualify. Anyone that qualifies  automatically  should have received a letter during June stating when and how your Allowance will be paid.   The payments will be made during the week ending 14th  July 2017 .

€47.4 million will be paid out in Back to School Allowance payments in 2017 – and about  108,000 families will get it. (That’s  an average of  €438 per family)

How Much Is It  ?

The back to school allowances have gone up this year. The increase was not announced as part of Budget 2017 – it was only announced in the middle of June.  The departing Minister for  Social Protection  (Leo Varadkar) said that any  additional costs will be met from within the Department’s allocation for 2017 in which there is an underspend due to rapidly falling unemployment levels.

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2017 is now going to be  €125  (was €100)

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2017 is now  €250. (Was €200)
(Children aged between 18 and 22 years must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.)

Note:  Prior to 2011 the Back to School Allowance was  €305 for children over 12 and €200 for children under 12. So we are still a long way off those levels.

A Back to school allowance of €200 was abolished for two and three year olds in 2012.

Who Qualifies ?

To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance  you need to fulfil one of the criteria below:

  • Getting a social welfare payment (including Family Income Supplement and Back to Work Family Dividend) or a Health Service Executive payment, or
  • Taking part in an approved employment scheme (back to work scheme) including JobBridge or
  • Taking part in a recognised education or training course, or
    Involved in an Area Partnership Scheme, or
  • Attending a FET (formerly Fás), Fáilte Ireland or LES training scheme.

Your child must be aged between 4-17 on or before 30 September 2017.

If you need an application form, you can  text “FORM BTSCFA” followed by your name and address to 51909. Any person whose circumstances have changed should contact the Department of Social Protection at 1890 66 22 44 or email

Full rules here