Back to School Cloth­ing and Footwear Al­lowance

I am get­ting Job­seeker’s Al­lowance and my old­est child is start­ing school this year. Is there a pay­ment to help with the costs of chil­dren go­ing to school?

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

THE Back to School Cloth­ing and Footwear Al­lowance (BTSCFA) helps you meet the cost of uni­forms and footwear for chil­dren go­ing to school. Chil­dren must be aged be­tween 4 and 22 on or be­fore Septem­ber 30, 2019. If they are aged be­tween 18 and 22 they must be in full-time sec­ond-level ed­u­ca­tion in a recog­nised school or col­lege.

To qual­ify, you must be get­ting a so­cial wel­fare pay­ment or tak­ing part in a train­ing, em­ploy­ment or adult ed­u­ca­tion scheme. In gen­eral, you must be get­ting an In­crease for a Qual­i­fied Child with your pay­ment. Peo­ple get­ting the Work­ing Fam­ily Pay­ment and the Back to Work Fam­ily Div­i­dend can qual­ify for BTSCFA. Also, your to­tal fam­ily in­come must be below a cer­tain level for your fam­ily size. The al­lowance is €150 for chil­dren aged be­tween 4 and 11 and €275 for those aged be­tween 12 and 22.

The De­part­ment of Em­ploy­ment Af­fairs and So­cial Pro­tec­tion pays the BTSCFA au­to­mat­i­cally to many fam­i­lies. This means that they do not have to ap­ply for the pay­ment. If you qual­ify au­to­mat­i­cally, you should have been no­ti­fied by June 24 and the pay­ment made the week be­gin­ning July 8. If you do not get an au­to­matic pay­ment you must ap­ply for the al­lowance.

If any of your chil­dren are aged 18 or over, you must also ap­ply for the al­lowance for them and show ev­i­dence that they are in sec­ond-level ed­u­ca­tion (even if au­to­matic pay­ments have is­sued for other chil­dren in the fam­ily).

You can ap­ply on­line through mywel­fare.ie. You must have a Pub­lic Ser­vices Card and a ver­i­fied MyGovID ac­count to ap­ply on­line. You can also ap­ply us­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion form, avail­able in all In­treo cen­tres and So­cial Wel­fare Branch Of­fices and on­line from wel­fare.ie or you can re­quest a form by tex­ting Form BTSCFA fol­lowed by your name and ad­dress to 51909 or by email­ing [email protected]­fare.ie.

The clos­ing date for ap­pli­ca­tions is Septem­ber 30. A ded­i­cated phone line is avail­able to an­swer your ques­tions on (071) 919 3319. If re­fused the al­lowance, you can ask for a re­view of the de­ci­sion.

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