The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a one-off, means-tested payment. It is aimed at helping families with the extra costs of children starting school each autumn.
How Much Is It ?
- €150 for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2021
- €275 for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2021
- (Children aged between 18 and 22 years must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.)
- An example- someone who qualifies with three children aged 4 , 7 and 13 would get €575.
- Someone with 3 children over 12 would get €825
When will the Back to School Allowance be Paid in 2021?
Payment of the Back to School Allowance is expected to be due in the week beginning 12th July 2021. This is the date for those people that get it automatically.
However, payments to those making fresh claims will be made a lot later than that. It could be late September before everyone is paid.
Covid19 Unemployment Payment
The Covid Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be treated as a qualifying payment for the Back to School Allowance . (As long as claimants satisfy the other criteria.)
Once a person is in receipt of the PUP during the qualifying period 1st June to 30 September, they will be eligible to claim the BSCFA.
As we understand it – if you were getting the PUP at any time between those dates – you will qualify.
Will it be Paid Automatically ?
The Department of Social Protection pays the Back to School Allowance automatically to most families that qualify.
Anyone who qualifies automatically should have received a letter by July 5th. The letter will confirm when the Allowance is going to be paid.
If you received the allowance last year, you should get the payment automatically this year again if your circumstances haven’t changed.
If you didn’t get a confirmation letter by July 6th you will need to apply if you think you are eligible.
( Application details further down the page).
Back to School Allowance Applications
Online applications are expected to open from July 5th 2021
This will be the page to apply online for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance .
(Do NOT apply if you got it last year and your circumstances haven’t changed. )
To apply online you must have a verified MyGovID account.
You will need a Public Services Card to get verified. If you do not have a PSC card you will need to contact the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance section on 071 91 93318 or 0818 11 11 13 and they will try to enable you to become MyGovID verified.
The official closing date for applications will be Setember 30th 2021
Any person whose circumstances have changed should contact the Department of Social Protection at 0818 11 11 13 or (071) 919 3318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(P.S. There is no longer any need to worry about the cost of 1818 calls )
Who Qualifies for the Back to School Allowance?
To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance you need to fulfil the criteria below:
- Be getting a “qualifying” social welfare payment (includes Covid PUP, Jobseekers , Working Family Payment and Back to Work Family Dividend) , Full list below. AND
- Be in receipt of an increase for a qualified child (IQC) in respect of each child for whom the allowance is being claimed (This does not apply to Covid payment, Maternity or Adoptive Benefit.)
- Be taking part in an approved employment scheme, Back to Work Family Dividend, Youth Employment Support Scheme, Community Employment, Community Services Programme, Tús, Gateway, Short Term Enterprise Allowance, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Jobs Initiative, Youthreach, Rural Social Schemes and Springboard Initiative.
- You must also satisfy the household means test
The following incomes are not counted in the means test.
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.
The assessed weekly household income must be less than the amounts shown in the table below in order to qualify.
All dependent children are taken into account for the income limits. This includes children who do not qualify for BSCFA because they are aged under 4.
A couple both getting the €350 a week Pandemic payment (€700 a week total) – with no other income apart from Child Allowance – would only qualify for the Back to School payment if they had 4 or more children.
A couple with only one person getting the €350 a week pandemic payment plus Child Benefit would qualify for the Back to School allowance with 1 child or more. (Same applies to a lone parent).
Savings and property are taken into account . Full details of how assessed income is calculated can be seen here
BSCFA is not payable in respect of foster children. The financial support given to foster parents from Tusla already includes assistance with the cost of clothing for the foster child.
Qualifying Income List
Qualifying Payments for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Scheme
Payments from Social Welfare
- Adoptive Benefit, Blind Person’s Pension,Carer’s Benefit/Allowance ,
- Deserted Wife’s Benefit/Allowance , Disablement Benefit,
- Disability Allowance, Farm Assist,Guardian’s Payment ,
- Health and Safety Benefit ,Illness Benefit,Injury Benefit ,
- Invalidity Pension, Jobseeker’s Benefit/Allowance ,
- Maternity Benefit,One-Parent Family Payment,
- Partial Capacity Benefit
- Pandemic Unemployment Payment
- State Pension , Supplementary Welfare Allowance
- Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension
- Working Family Payment
- A Social Security Payment from a country covered by EU Regulations or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security.Agreement (of which there is an Irish equivalent payment).
- Payments to participants of Back to Work Family Dividend, Youth Employment Support Scheme, Community Employment, Community Services Programme, Tús, Gateway, Short Term Enterprise Allowance, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Jobs Initiative, Youthreach, Rural Social Schemes and Springboard Initiative.
- Payments to participants of a recognised education and training course such as Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) or Back To Education Allowance;
- Daily Expenses Allowance
- Participants on non-craft, full time, SOLAS or FÁS training schemes, CERT, and LES training schemes