Back to School Allowance 2020

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a one-off , means-tested payment. It is aimed at helping families with extra costs when children start school each autumn.

How Much Is It ?

  • The amount for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2020 is €150
  • The amount for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2020 is €275.
  • (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?


Payment of the Back to School Allowance is due in the week beginning 13th July 2020.


Covid19 Unemployment Payment

It has been confirmed by the Dept. of Social Protection that 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 that does qualify automatically should get a letter during June and early July 2020 (by July 6th). The letter will confirm when and how your Allowance will be paid.

If you got the allowance last year and your circumstances haven’t changd, you should get the payment automatically this year again.


If you don’t get a confirmation letter by July 6th you will need to apply if you think you are eligible.

It is unlikely that people who were working prior to March and then went on to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be paid the BSCFA automatically. Social welfare won’t know their full circumstances so they should apply for it.
( Application details  further down the page).

All automatic payments should go out by 17th July. However , payments for people who have to make new claims could be a lot later than that.
So apply early to reduce delays.


Back to School Allowance Applications

Online applications will open from July 6th.
This will be the page to apply online for the
Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance .
(It probably won’t work until July 6th , let us know if it does !)

(Do NOT apply if you got it last year and your circumstances haven’t changed. )


IMPORTANT :
To apply online you must have a verified MyGovID account.  It might be a good idea for new applicants to try and get verified before 6th July if possible.
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.

Paper Application Forms for the Back to School allowance scheme should also be available from July 6th 2020. We will try to provide a link as soon as we find it.

The official closing date for applications is 30 September 2020

Any person whose circumstances have changed should contact the Department of Social Protection at 0818 11 11 13 or  (071) 919 3318 or email bscfa@welfare.ie.
(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.)

OR

  • 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.

AND

The following income is not counted. 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 household weekly income must be below the figures in the table below in order to qualify.


Number
of
Children
Income Limit
Couples
Income Limit
Lone Parents
1€600.70€435.30
2€637.70€472.30
3€674.70€509.30
4€711.70€546.30

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


Foster Children

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
Other Payments
  • 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

53 thoughts on “Back to School Allowance 2020

  1. You will get a letter if you qualify . If you don’t – you will need to apply .

  2. I actually phoned yesterday,and they said they were working on applications around that time and to expect a decision in 2-3 weeks. People have posted on other forums saying they applied online Monday of this week and it was in their bank this morning

  3. If you are in receipt of careers allowance do you receive rhe payment

  4. Hi my daughter lived with my ex last year for a few months and he received the back to school allowance, she is now back with me full time since October and I calim for her, will I have to re apply for the allowence or will I automatically get it as I do for my other children.

    • I would assume the person getting child benefit will get the back to school allowance? You should get it automatically – you will know by the end of June if that has been done.

  5. Me and my husband are on cv19 and I have 3 kids age 12 15 17 do you know I get back to school allowance or no thanks

    • The total covid payments of €700 a week would bring you over the income limit for 3 children – which is €674.70 a week.
      So you would not qualify.
      If you were claiming jobseekers you would only get €470 a week – so the extra Covid payments make up for the loss of the back to school allowance.

  6. My daughter will be 4 in July this year but will be attending preschool, will she be eligible for the payment.

    • Yes – any child aged 4 on 30th Sept is eligible as it states in the article (- subject to the other criteria .)

    • If your circumstances are the same – then yes you should get it again.

  7. Hi iv separated from my husband. I’m on disability I have the 4 children full time I’m worried incase he applies for it and gets it as he will keep the money and my children will miss out any advice on applying before him

    • If you are claiming for the children and getting extra on your disability ( Increase for a Qualified Child) – then he can’t claim for them too.

  8. My son has disability allowance he is 16,would he qualifie for the back to school allowance with his own means test or is his dad’s wage counted in the calculation.
    Thanks

  9. I am in disability allowance and my son his 15 in third year secondary school. Did I have to fill a form?Last year I just got a letter that I am eligible to get back to school money.
    What about this year?

    • If you are going to get it automatically again you will be informed in June

  10. My husband died Feb this year. I am in receipt of widows pension for myself and 2 children 9 & 10. It is my only source of income.Will I automatically qualify for the allowance?

    • You may not get it automatically – you will know if you get a letter in June.

  11. Hi I’m separated and recieved no matienence have 2 children and work full time , I receive , working family payment and my income is 628 euro weekly , so do I qualify for back to school allowance , as it said couple 634 euro

    • You would be assessed as a Lone Parent not as a couple if you are separated. You may qualify- because Any income a family gets from Child Benefit a Working Family Payment is not counted.

  12. Hi at the moment in on 200 euro for jsa and also on covid payment will i still get back to school allowance thanks

    • What ? Why are you getting both Jobseekers AND the Covid payment ??

  13. So if i am claiming der weekly money and der child benfit is in there fathers name and goes into his bank will i still get the back to school myself and him arent togetter he gives me the child benefit

      • Because my kids were living with him for abit while i was getting better i get there weekly money just haven changed the child benfit over

  14. My daughter is 18 but only going into 6th year will I get it this year I’ve always got it

  15. I got sick and he had them but i have them back now just havent changed it over so will i get the back to school

    • Tell welfare the current situation and make sure the benefits going to you have the extra additions for the children.

  16. My son is 16 getting disability allowance I get careers allowance and his dad gets jobseekers would we qualify for back to school allowance thank you

    • Just check your weekly income against the figures we have given (don’t count child benefit).
      If you don’t get a letter in JUne – just apply anyway.

  17. I have 3 children, aged 8,4,3, I know i will be eligible for back to school allowance for my eldest, but for my second, she is 4 in june but returning to preschool, do I have to reapply so that she is taken into account along with my elsest?
    Thanks

    • Welfare will know about the 4 year old because of child benefit. It should be granted automatically,

  18. Hi my patner is on disability allowance and I’m on working family payment but also recurve covid 19 payment with 4 kids will I receive payment for back to school

    • Just add up your weekly income (without child benefit and WFP) . If it comes to less than €711.70 a week then you should qualify.

  19. Hello I am a foster parent of two children seeking asylum age 16 and 17 will I receive the clothing allowance for them?
    I receive WFI and work part time?

    • BSCFA is not payable in respect of foster children. The financial support available to foster parents from Tusla – the Child and Family Agency (Foster Care Allowance), includes assistance with the cost of clothing and footwear for the foster child.
      We have just updated the article to say this.

  20. I am on maternity leave since 29th of jan. Also in receipt of Working family allowance. My son is 13 going into second year and my daughter is in 3rd level education. I am a single mother. Would I be eligible for back to school allowance?

    • These specific queries are difficult to answer. Best to just apply and see what happens.

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