Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance - Minister highlights rising demand for scheme


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Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., today (7 th September) drew attention to the sharp increase in people seeking support under the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Scheme.

The Minister said: "The increased numbers of claimants this year is an unfortunate reflection of the severe financial pressure being faced by families at the moment. It is important that families who are eligible for the scheme avail of it. While the arrangements for the scheme changed this year and already 159,000 families and over 300,000 children have received a payment, there have been some delays in processing the increased numbers of applications. I can assure everyone that the staff in my Department are working extremely hard to clear the remaining applications as quickly as possible."

She added: "This year has seen a huge increase in the number of applications for the support available to help parents with the costs of school clothing and footwear for their children. If present trends continue we may be paying the allowance to almost 200,000 families compared with 160,000 last year.

Under the scheme, parents/guardians can receive €200 for each eligible child aged between 2 and 11 years and €305 for each eligible child aged between 12 and 22 years.

A person may qualify for payment of the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance if they are in receipt of a Social Welfare payment (including Family Income Supplement), or a Health Service Executive payment, are participating in an approved employment scheme or attending a recognised education and training course and have household income at or below certain set levels.

The closing date for completed applications is Friday 30th September 2011.

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

Notes for Editors:

Income limits for couples 2011
Couple with Income limit in 2011
1 child
€563.60
2 children
€593.40
3 children
€623.20
4 children
€653.00 (The income limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional child.)

 

Income limits for lone parent 2011
Couple with Income limit in 2011
1 child
€410.10
2 children
€439.90
3 children
€469.70
4 children
€499.50 (The income limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional child.)

The rates of payment for 2011 are:

  1. €200 in respect of children aged 2 to 11 on the 30th September 2011;
  2. €305 in respect of children aged 12 to 17 on the 30th September 2011;
  3. €305 in respect of children aged 18 to 22 on the 30th September 2011 who are in full time education.
Statistics to 7th September 2011
No. automated payments issued
127,000
No. manual payments issued
32,00
 
 
No. of manual applications received
80,000
No. of applications processed
43,600
No. applications awaiting decision
36,400
 
 
Total no. of BSCFA payments made in 2010
160,000

Of the 80,000 manual claims received 43,600 claims have been processed of which 32,000 have been paid, 5,300 refused, 5,200 returned because there was insufficient information and the remaining 1,100 were duplicate claims. This leaves approximately 36,400 claims to be decided, claims are currently being processed at the rate of 1,250 per day.

Last modified:08/09/2011
 

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