Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA)
The new school year for 2019- 2020 won’t start until the end of August 2019 – but the Back to School Allowance payments are due to be made during the week beginning 8th July 2019.
The BTSCFA amounts have increased in 2019 compared to 2018 – see below for rates.
The Department of Social Protection pays the Back to School Allowance payment automatically to most families that qualify.
Anyone that does qualify automatically should get a letter during June 2019 stating when and how your Allowance will be paid.
If you don’t get a letter – you will need to apply .
( Applications details at the end).
Payments should go out by 14th July. But in 2018 there were delays in the processing of many claims and some payments didn’t go out until September. So apply early to avoid delays.
Back to School Allowance Applications
From 1st July 2019, you can apply online for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance at 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
Paper Application Forms for the Back to School allowance scheme should be avilable from the 24th June 2019.
If you need an application form, from 24th June you can text BSCFA followed by your name and address to 51909 ; or you should be able to collect one at any Intreo or Social Welfare office. When they are available you can download a form here.
The official closing date for applications is 30 September 2019.
Any person whose circumstances have changed should contact the Department of Social Protection at 1890 66 22 44 or Tel: (071) 919 3318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Much Is the Back to School Allowance ?
The back to school allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2019 is : €150
The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2019 is : €275.
(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. (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:
- Be 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
- Be taking part in an approved employment scheme (back to work scheme) or
- Be 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