Operational Guidelines for Education, Training and Development Option


Print page

Guidelines

EDUCATION, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT OPTION
(Retention of Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit)

INDEX:

Introduction
Information Leaflet
Legislation
Administration
Description of Option
Approved Courses
Study Options available
Qualifying Conditions
Special Provisions
Rates of payment
Extra Benefits
Assessment of Rent/Mortgage Supplement

 

CLAIMS, DOCUMENTATION AND DECISIONS PROCEDURES:

Claims
Documentation
Decisions

 

PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AWARD:

Payment
JA/JB Conditions
Duration of Payment
Maintenance
Lost Payments
Certificates
Review
Credits

APPENDIX 1

Information Leaflet (SW70) & Application form (BTE1) available from

 

Introduction

As part of its Social and Family Support Services, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provides a wide range of second chance education opportunities for unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities.

The Department's objective in this area is to raise educational and skills level among the long term unemployed, in order to help them to meet the requirements of the modern labour market. Studies have shown that there is a strong link between unemployment and educational attainment and this Department's Back To Education Programmes were introduced to provide a comprehensive range of options from which an unemployed person can choose, or be directed to, the most appropriate for his/her needs.

The Back To Education Programmes range from basic courses of education, training or development through to third level postgraduate courses of study, and are:

  • Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) Scheme

Payment of weekly allowance while pursuing a second or third   level course of study (See separate Guideline BACK TO   EDUCATION - Back to Education Allowance Scheme)

  • Education, Training and Development Option (E,T&D)

          This Guideline)

  • Part-Time Education Option (PTEO)

  Retention of Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit (See separate Guideline BACK TO EDUCATION - Part-Time Education Option)

Information Leaflet

Social and Family Affairs Support Services, Back to Education Programmes (SW70)

Legislation

Article 120 of Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations, 2007 (S.I. 142 0f 2007) as amended.  Statutory conditions administered by JA/JB Schemes

Administration

The Education, Training and Development (E,T&D) is administered by:

Employment Support Services,
Shannon Lodge
Carrick on Shannon
Co. Leitrim

EDUCATION TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT (ET&D) OPTION

(Retention of Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit)

Description of Option

The qualifying conditions for receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit require a person to be available for and genuinely seeking full-time employment. A person pursuing a full‑time course of study would not satisfy this condition and, therefore, would not qualify for Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit.

However, under the Education, Training and Development (ET&D) Option of the Back To Education Programmes, a person may continue to receive, subject to satisfying certain conditions, his/her Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit while attending certain courses of education, training or development.

It should be noted that, unlike the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) Scheme, this option is not a stand alone scheme. Persons who qualify under the ET&D option continue to be paid Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit, as appropriate, and are deemed to be available for employment for the duration of the course of education, training or development.

Approved Courses

Courses which are not recognised for BTEA Second or Third Level Options, and which are being pursued at an institution which is funded wholly or partly by state agencies may be approved if they lead to improved employment prospects on completion.

NOTE: Particular attention should be paid to the difference between a course which is recognised for BTEA purposes, and a participant who does not qualify for BTEA due to failing one or more of the qualifying conditions.  For example, a person who participates in a full‑time degree course in a recognised University, but who fails to qualify for BTEA on the grounds that s/he is already the holder of an equivalent qualification, would not be considered to be a suitable candidate for the ET&D option.

Courses in a private institute of education will not be approved under the ET&D option unless it is a course approved and recommended as leading to employment on completion by a Partnership, in a Partnership Area.

Study Options available

A broad range of courses may be approved under the Education, Training and Development Option:

  • Personal development courses
  • Basic education e.g. literacy classes 
  • General training courses
  • Acquisition of specific job skills

>Qualifying Conditions

In order to qualify for retention of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit under the Education, Training and Development Option a person must, immediately prior to commencing an approved course be:

  • at least 21 years of age,

or

  • aged between 18 and 20 and out of the formal education  system for at least 2 years,

and

  • In receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit and have received a total of at least 6 months (156 days) of  unemployment payment during his/her current period of unemployment.

NOTE: A person in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit wishing to avail of the ET&D option as an early school leaver must supply, to the Facilitator, written evidence from their former school/college of their previous educational qualifications and date of leaving formal education.

Jobseekers Allowance/Jobseekers Benefit

Claimants approved for this option are deemed to be available for work and may attend a course of education, training or development while continuing in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit.

Note: All other conditions for receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit must continue to be satisfied.

Special Provisions (ET&D)

  • Under Article 73 of Social Welfare (Consolidated Payments Provision) Regulations, 1994 (SI 417/94 as amended by SI 54/98) persons in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit attending an approved course under the ET&D option are deemed to be available for work.
  • Persons who qualify under the Education, Training and Development Option are not required to "sign on" for the duration of an approved course.
  • Persons who qualify under the ET&D Option to pursue an approved course of education, training or development are not entitled to receive a "Training Allowance" while retaining entitlement to Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit. 
  • A course of education, training or development in private organisations or institutions may not be approved for the purposes of the ET&D Option, (except as outlined below)
  • If the claimant resides in a "Partnership Area" and wishes to avail of the ET&D option in respect of a private course, his/her chosen course may be approved provided it is approved or recommended by the Partnership.

Rates of Payment

The Education, Training and Development Option does not involve any special payment or allowance.  Participants continue to be eligible for their Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit while attending an approved course, provided that they would otherwise have an entitlement.  Payment should continue by the same method as prior to approval, e.g. postdraft, cheque, electronic fund transfer (EFT).

Extra Benefits

Participants in the Education, Training and Development Option continue to receive any secondary benefits to which they would otherwise have an entitlement.  These may include:

  • Fuel Allowance
  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance
  • Christmas Bonus
  • Rent Allowance /Mortgage Interest Supplement under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme (see ** below).

** Assessment for Rent/Mortgage Supplement

All additional income, e.g. training allowance, maintenance grant, may affect entitlement to Rent/Mortgage Supplement.

CLAIMS, DOCUMENTATION AND DECISIONS PROCEDURES:

Claims

Responsibility for securing a place on a course rests with the claimant. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection does not provide assistance in this regard.

Once a person has been accepted on a course s/he must notify the Department before commencing the course by completing the application form (BTE1).  The completed application form should be returned to the Facilitator at the Social Welfare Local Office.

Documentation

Claimants are responsible for the production of the information required.  This includes written confirmation from the relevant institute that the claimant has registered for the course as outlined in their application form.  Failure to supply the relevant documentation will result in the application being refused.

Participants may be requested to furnish confirmation of on-going course attendance.  Failure to supply this information within the period specified may result in a suspension of payment.

Participants are also required to notify the Department of cessation of participation on a course.

Decisions

On receipt of a completed application form (BTE1) the Facilitator confirms that the applicant satisfies the eligibility criteria for retention of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit under Article 120 of Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations, 2007 (S.I. 142 0f 2007) as amended.

If the qualifying conditions are satisfied the Facilitator should inform the SWLO that the applicant has been approved for participation in the Education, Training and Development Option and the conditions under Article 120 are satisfied. The approval, together with BTE1 should be associated with JA/JB claim papers in the relevant SWLO.

The Facilitator should also notify the applicant of his/her approval/refusal to participate in the Education, Training and Development Option.

PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AWARD:

Payment

The Education, Training and Development Option does not involve any special payment or allowance.  The claimant approved for participation in this option retains entitlement to the appropriate rate of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit.  Payment will continue by the same method as prior to the award, e.g. postdraft, cheque, electronic fund transfer.

JA/JB Conditions

While the claimant is participating in a course of education under the ET&D option, the condition of availability is waived.  Also, the normal "signing" arrangements are suspended.

Duration of payment

Payment under Education, Training and Development is paid on a weekly basis as long as the participant continues to satisfy the conditions for receipt of Jobseekers Allowance or Jobseekers Benefit.

Maintenance

Claims are maintained on an on-going basis in the relevant Social Welfare Local Office.

Lost Payments

If a post draft/cheque payment is not received by a participant, a replacement may be issued.  See guideline on "Payments" in respect of the action to be taken when a post draft/cheque is reported as uncashed, lost or stolen.

Certificates

Applicants are required to furnish written verification from the school/college or institute to confirm that they have registered for the course as outlined and the specific duration of the approved course.

Review

Participants in the Education, Training and Development Option may be periodically reviewed to confirm that the conditions of entitlement continue to be satisfied.  A review may also be initiated on receipt of notification of any change in circumstances which may affect entitlement or the appropriate rate of payment.

Credits

Where a person has established an entitlement to the award of credited contributions, these will continue to be awarded for the duration of participation in the Education, Training and Development Option.

APPENDIX 1

Information Leaflet (SW70) and Application Form (BTE1) are available from:

  • Nationwide network of Social Welfare Local Offices,
  • Employment Support Services, Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim,
  • Social Welfare Services Office, College Road, Sligo,
  • Social Welfare Services Office, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford,
  • Information Services, Social Welfare Services Office, College Road, Sligo.

 

Last modified:17/05/2016