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?
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.