Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance - Frequently Asked Questions


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  1. What is the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance?
  2. What are the qualifying conditions for the Allowance?
  3. If I qualify for this Allowance, how much will I get?
  4. Do I need to apply for this Allowance?
  5. I have a child over 18 years who will be returning to second level education in September. Will I receive his/her payment automatically?
  6. When will those customers being automatically paid receive their letters?
  7. When will the automatic payments issue?
  8. I am in receipt of Maternity Benefit or Adoptive Benefit but I am not getting an increase in respect of my child. Will I qualify for this Allowance?
  9. I am in receipt of a Jobseekers payment but I am not getting an increase in respect of my child because of my spouse's/partner's earnings. Will I qualify for this Allowance?
  10. I have not received a decision yet regarding my Social Welfare payment/a decision not to award me a Social Welfare payment is under appeal?
  11. I need an application form. Where can I get one?
  12. How does the means test work?
  13. Which weekly income limit applies to me?
  14. Where will I be able to collect my payment?
  15. Where do I send the completed application form?
  16. I am not happy with the decision made by the Department on my application. What can I do next?
  17. If I qualify for Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, will I have to pay tax on it?
  18. Where can I get more information?
  19. What are the "qualifying payments" mentioned at Question 2?

1. What is the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance?

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a payment made once a year to assist with the cost of clothing and footwear. It is payable in respect of children between the age of 4 and 11 years and children between 12 and 22 years. Children between 18 and 22 years must be returning to second level education in the autumn to qualify.

 


2. What are the qualifying conditions for the Allowance?

To qualify for Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, you or your spouse;

  • must be in receipt of a qualifying payment (see question 19 for a list of qualifying payments) and your payment must include an increase(s) in respect of your child/children, and
  • must satisfy a means test.

 


3. If I qualify for this Allowance, how much will I get?

The rates of payment are €125.00 for children between the age of 4 and 11 years and €250.00 for children between 12 and 22 years. Children between 18 and 22 years must be in second level education to qualify.

 


4. Do I need to apply for this Allowance?

Not everyone will need to apply for this Allowance. We will automatically pay those customers who according to our records are entitled to the Allowance in 2018. We will write out to those customers during the month of June and their automatic payments will issue in the week ending Friday 13th July 2018. Only those who do not receive an automatic payment will need to apply for the Allowance by sending us in a completed application form.

 


5. I have a child over 18 years who will be returning to second level education in September. Will I receive his/her payment automatically?

Where a child is 18 years or over, you will need to apply for the allowance in respect of this child and provide confirmation that he/she is returning to second level education in September 2018.

 


6. When will those customers being automatically paid receive their letters?

During the month of June we will write out to all customers that are due an automatic payment.

 


7. When will the automatic payments issue?

The automatic payments will issue in the week ending 13th July 2018 and can be collected on the same day as the customer’s weekly payment.

 


8. I am in receipt of Maternity Benefit or Adoptive Benefit but I am not getting an increase in respect of my child. Will I qualify for this Allowance?

You may qualify if you satisfy the means test. When application forms are made available you should apply.

 


9. I am in receipt of a Jobseekers payment but I am not getting an increase in respect of my child because of my spouse's/partner's earnings. Will I qualify for this Allowance?

It's possible that you may qualify. When application forms are made available you should apply.

 


10. I have not received a decision yet regarding my Social Welfare payment/a decision not to award me a Social Welfare payment is under appeal?

You should apply for the allowance. Your entitlement to the BSCFA will be established when your social welfare claim is finalised.

 


11. I need an application form. Where can I get one?

Application forms will be available from mid-June 2018 on the Department of  Employment Affairs and Social Protection's website and from your Intreo Centre or  local Social Welfare Branch Office. 

 


12. How does the means test work?

Your weekly income limit for this means test depends on the number of children you have and on whether or not you are a lone parent. We calculate your weekly income as being your main social welfare payment plus any income from employment (minus PRSI and minus a travel allowance of €20.00), and any other income. 

 


13. Which weekly income limit applies to me?

This table shows the weekly income limit for the means test for both lone parents and couples with up to 6 children.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Income Limits (2018)
Couple Income Limit Lone Parent Income Limit
1 Child
€587.20
1 Child
€425.10
2 Children
€619.00
2 Children
€456.90
3 Children
€650.80
3 Children
€488.70
4 Children
€682.60
4 Children
€520.50
5 Children
€714.40
5 Children
€552.30
6 Children
€746.20
6 Children
€584.10

(Limit increases by € 31.80 for each additional child.)

 


14. Where will I be able to collect my payment?

Automatic payments will be available by the same method of payment as your weekly payment. For those applying for the allowance, when completing the application form, you can choose between being paid at your Post Office or into your bank account.

 


15. Where do I send the completed application form?

Send your completed application form, along with any supporting documentation, to:

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance
Social Welfare Services
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
College Road
Sligo
F91 T384

 


16. I am not happy with the decision made by the Department on my application. What can I do next?

You can request a review by the Deciding Officer by writing in to us and telling us why you think the decision we made was incorrect. The address you should write to is:

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance
Social Welfare Services
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
College Road
Sligo
F91 T384


17. If I qualify for Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, will I have to pay tax on it?

No. Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is not regarded as income for income tax purposes

 


18. Where can I get more information?

For more information on Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance:

Note:
The rates charged for using 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers.


19. What are the "qualifying payments" mentioned at Question 2?

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance – Qualifying Payments
Adoptive Benefit​ Farm Assist​ Maternity Benefit​
Blind Person's Pension Guardian's Payment (Contributory) Injury Benefit
Carer's Allowance ​Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory) ​Pre-Retirement Allowance
​Carer's Benefit Health and Safety Benefit State Pension (Contributory)
Deserted Wife's Allowance Illness Benefit State Pension (Non-Contributory)
Deserted Wife's Benefit Incapacity Supplement Supplementary Welfare Allowance
Disability Allowance Invalidity Pension Widow's/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory Pension
Disabled Person's Rehabilitative Allowance Jobseeker's Allowance Widow's/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension
Disablement Benefit Jobseeker's Benefit
Working Family Payment (formerly Family Income Supplement) One-Parent Family Payment

 

Other qualifying payments

  • Pensions paid by the UK Department of Work and Pensions (formerly the UK Department of Social Security or DSS);
  • Payments to participants on approved work placement or income support schemes. These include Back to Work Family Dividend, Community Employment, Community Services Programme, Tús, Gateway, Short Term Enterprise Allowance, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Jobs Initiative, Youthreach, Rural Social Schemes , Springboard Initiative.
  • Payments to participants on a recognised education and training course such as Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) or Back To Education Allowance;
  • Participants on non-craft, full time, SOLAS/FET (fomerly FÁS) training schemes, CERT, and LES training schemes
Last modified:08/06/2018
 

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