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 in second level education 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 €100.00 for children between the age of 4 and 11 years and €200.00 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 2016. We will write out to those customers in the week ending 10th June and their automatic payments will issue in the week ending Friday 15th July 2016. 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.

 


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

In the week ending 10th June we will write out to all customers that are due an automatic payment telling them they will not need to apply for the payment this year.

 


7. When will the automatic payments issue?

The automatic payments will issue in the week ending 15th July 2016 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?

If you have not received a letter from us and need to apply, application forms are available in all Social Welfare offices, via SMS (text Form BTSCFA followed by the name and address to 51909), from the website www.welfare.ie or you may email the Department at BSCFA@welfare.ie.

 

 


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 total pay (minus PRSI and minus a travel allowance of €20.00), plus your main social welfare payment (if any) 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 (2016)
Couple Income Limit Lone Parent Income Limit
1 Child
€563.60
1 Child
€410.10
2 Children
€593.40
2 Children
€439.90
3 Children
€623.20
3 Children
€469.70
4 Children
€653.00
4 Children
€499.50
5 Children
€682.80
5 Children
€529.30
6 Children
€712.60
6 Children
€559.10

(Limit increases by € 29.80 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 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 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:

 


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

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

 

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, Revenue Job Assist schemes, Jobs Initiative, Youthreach and Rural Social Schemes , Springboard Initiative, and JobBridge – the National Internship Scheme.
  • 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/FÁS training schemes, CERT, and LES training schemes
Last modified:10/06/2016
 

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