Back to School Allowance 2018

It’s not that long since school finished for most children – but thousands of families will already have got the  Back to School Allowance for the next school year. TheBack to School 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).


Update:  July 17th :   There are currently delays in processing the Back to School   Allowance .  The Dept of Social Protection have said that applications received in the week ending 29th June are currently being processed. Those customers will shortly receive a text notification to confirm receipt of their application and where eligible, they will receive their payment soon afterwards.  They also say that anyone who has submitted a BSCFA Application after 29th June , should receive confirmation of the receipt of this application within the coming two to three weeks and, where eligible, will receive payment “as soon as possible thereafter”.

(* We hope the delay is not as bad as 2011 – when some payments didn’t go out until September.)


In 2017, Back to School payments of €49 million were made to 151,000 families in respect of over 275,000 children.

How Much Is It  ?

The back to school allowances went up in 2017  :

The 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.

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 “FORM BTSCFA” followed by your name and address to 51909  or you can collect one at any Intreo or Social Welfare office.
Any person whose circumstances have changed should contact the Department of Social Protection at 1890 66 22 44 or   0 71 91 93302 or email bscfa@welfare.ie.

61 thoughts on “Back to School Allowance 2018

  1. To whom it may concern

    I am just wondering we got back to school allowance last year do I have to apply for it again. It’s under my husband pps number. My pps number is ****

    • If you are still entitled to it – you do not need to apply again. You should get a letter next week if you are entitled to it.

      • Some people are reporting that their payment is already in the bank – showing as paid (dated Monday) – so if you get your welfare payments in the bank you will probably get the Back to School payment tomorrow .

      • I automatically got this payment last year no changes to my income but never received the payment into my bank account today, what do I do?

    • I had to apply last year for my six children do I have to apply again this year.. I automatically received it previous years but it was suspended last year. I received it after I ré applied. Wondering what the situation this year

      • If you didn’t get a confirmation letter sent to u=yoi in June – then you will need to reapply.

  2. my partner is on minimum wage and family income supplement just wonder will we have to apply again if were entitled to it as last year he was just geting social welfare payment

      • I am 30 cent over the income limit will I still be able to qualify for the back of school allowance

  3. Hello how are you. . I was awarded the back to school allowance for my kids. I was wondering could you tell if this is right. I was awarded 375.00 for 3 kids aged 15 aged 11 and aged 5 years thanks in advace pps ……

    • Hi patrick its 250euro for children aged 12 to 22 & 125euro for children age 4 to 11 you been short of payment for one child give the social a ring as your youngest child may not be on the system hope this help 😊

    • About 6000 letters sent about the Back to School payment were incorrect and showed an amount less than the actual entitlement. The Department of Social protection say they are taking immediate measures to fix this problem and also say that customers will have correct payments made to them.

  4. My partner started claiming BTWFD when he started work last August would we be automatically entitled to it?

  5. Hi, just wondering do anyone have landline number for the bscfa section, I have tried the one online and also 0719193318 which was on letter but keep getting call failed. I have spend 30 Euro trying to get through on the lo-call number.

  6. I am €7 over the limit not including the €20 standard travel allowance, which would take me €13 under the limit. I received the payment automatically last year but have not gotten any letter to say I will this year. My one payment family payment ceases in September so surely if I am not entitled to the payment now I will be in September! Any comments?

  7. I am on Disability and my husband is my carer. For the last 4 years we got a letter and back to school allowance. This year I received no letter and when I rang them today I was told they did not know why I didn’t get a letter but to fill out an application form and send it back to them. My husband had to do this today as I am not very mobile and in a lot of pain. Could you tell me if I sent it in today the 29th June how long will I be waiting for payment we are well under the limit of means test and will not be able to get anything for school without it as we get so little as I am unable to work anymore and my husband had to stop working to care for me

  8. Same for me too. Been getting it for years and never received a letter either. Also rang them and they told me I have to re apply even though none of my details have changed. Now is when the shops have special offered and when other school goers are selling off their old books. Which means we will lose out on them and have to pay full prices in the shops. Doesn’t make any sense!

  9. Just posted my application form for the back to school allowance how long will I be waiting to get it I am doing a c .e scheme this year .

  10. Hi I have no received a letter about the back to school allowance. I claim family income supplement I have received payment for last few years. Should I ring them or will I get payment automatic

  11. I am in the same situation as others here,no letter,no change in status and got automatically paid btscfa for the last two years.

  12. Hello, I sent in my Application for the back to school payment and today I just got my to payslip back in the post with no litter saying if I got it or not?
    Christina Hogan

      • Ye got text today saying the same wonder how long will take now :/

    • Same I sent mine off too and got payslips back on Monday but nothing to say if I’d get it have you heard anything back from them since recieving your payslips

      • Hi I got a text today to say my file is on system. They will contact in due course if successful or not x

  13. Hi . I’ve got letter that I will get payment 250 for my son .My daughter will be 18 in august , but she still in secondary school start 5 th grade in September. Do I have to apply for her? Thanks

    • You will have to get a letter from the school to say your daughter is still attending then send that with the form

    • If she is 18 and in secondary school you need a letter from the school to say she attends school full time and apply for her as soon as you get the letter

  14. Hi I did not receive a letter for back to school Allowance but getting it for years and nothing has changed so do I need to Apply again ???

    • Yes – as it says in the article – anyone who didn’t get a letter in June will need to apply.

  15. Hello I was just wondering if you can collect the back to school allowance on Monday or do I collect it with my one parent family On thursday

    • Automatic payments will be made by the same method of payment as your normal welfare weekly payment

      • Meaning that you have to collect it on the day that you collect your normal weekly payment on a Thursday not collect it on the Monday ..

      • Correct – but people getting paid ibto bank accounts might get their’s on Monday..

  16. why have we to re apply again when some others don’t no change in circumstances but it looks like only certain people where made to re apply why??????????

  17. Hi is any one has twins how is payments for them because child benefit is like for 3 kid’s so and back to school be the same or as for two?Thanks

  18. Hi always got my bk to school allowance change ‘s in payment never revived this yr why

  19. I got my back to school grant last year and didn’t receive a letter , so i phoned them today and my circumstances hasn’t changed from last year so why do i have to apply again? And why don’t they send you a letter to say you have to reaply?

    • I am in the same always got back to school allowance but didn’t this year when I rang told we need to reapply you,d think they wouldn’t do this seeing the can see on there records whose entitled to it

  20. Hi I applied for the back to school yesterday does anyone know how long it takes thanks

  21. Hi always get this every year. for our three children.Circumstances have not changed, but never got any letter

  22. Is it essential that I must have a social welfare payment.. I’m a single mum with just one living with me now, just turned 16. I work part time but don’t get any welfare pay? I used to get this payment when all kids were younger and living with me. Thanks in advance

  23. Did anyone get a letter but no payment? Only received letter yesterday dated 22 June but no payment today.

  24. I haven’t recieved this payment today and my circumstances remain the same. I recieve this payment automatically each year and always recieve a confirmation letter in june.
    Now I never recieved the confirmation letter in June but this only dawned on me when payment wasn’t in today with my welfare payment. Have tried getting through to there office all day today but to no avail so I just got a form filled it out and sent it off.

  25. We get last year around 10.07 shoud we need aplly again or no and when we can expect this year thx

  26. Ok I’ve been in touch with social welfare in Sligo.
    Due to a glitch some payments that were due this week but were not paid due to the glitch will go through with your normal payment next week.
    So for anyone who was due to receive it this week but hasn’t will get it next week.

  27. Hi. Has anyone got this problem I’ve nearly wasted 30 euro on phone calls to the back to school contact number can’t ever get through and just left waiting for ages. I’ve applied for the back to school allowance going on 3 weeks now got payslip and letters back and text to say that they have received my application but no confirmation whether or not I’m entitled to it this year. I really would appreciate the payment as I’m only working part time getting social welfare and the rent of
    my house is expensive. This payment would help me a lot as I have a 13 and 16 year old going to the secondary school and it is expensive and a worry at this stage

    • I’m getting it with 13 years and every single year I have to re apply I never got it automatically it’s so annoying

  28. Hi, I send off the completed form by registered post on 25th June. I have got it automatically for the last 3 years,no changes in circumstances. No text or acknowledgement yet. This should be paid with child benefit or in a more streamlined way.

    • The Dept has issued a warning about delays . See the updated article above for details.

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