The new school term has already started – but it seems that many families did not get their Back to School Allowance before the start of the school year.
The Back to School Allowance payments were due to be made during the week beginning 9th July 2018.
The Department of Social Protection pays the Back to School payment automatically to many families that qualify. Anyone that qualifies automatically should have had a letter during June stating when and how your Allowance will be paid. If you didn’t get a letter – you will need to apply (details at the end). Those payments should have gone out by 13th July.
Update: Sept 5th : Delays
The Dept of Social Protection say that applications received on 1st, 2nd and 3rd August are currently being processed and these customers should soon get confirmation of the outcome in writing. Payments will be issued to eligible customers on a daily basis.
The DSP is asking customers who have made an application to “bear with them” while they work to clear the backlog as quickly as possible. The enquiry phone line is still closed so that staff can focus on processing customer claims as quickly as possible. They have an email address -email@example.com
How Much Is It ?
The back to school allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2018 is €125
The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2018 is €250.
(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 for two and three year olds was abolished in 2012.)
In 2017, Back to School payments of €49 million were made to 151,000 families in respect of over 275,000 children.
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 Working Family Payment (was previously called FIS) and Back to Work Family Dividend) or a Health Service Executive payment, or
- Taking part in an approved employment scheme (back to work scheme) or
- Taking part in a recognised education or training course, or
Involved in an Area Partnership Scheme, or
- Attending a FET (formerly Fás) or, Fáilte Ireland training course.
There is also a means test Full rules here
Application Forms for the scheme were available from the 22 June 2018. The closing date for applications is 30 September 2018.
If you need an application form, you can text BSCFA1 followed by your name and address to 51909 ; or you can collect one at any Intreo or Social Welfare office. Or you can download a form here.
Any person whose circumstances have changed should contact the Department of Social Protection at 1890 66 22 44 or 071 91 93302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.