Varadkar increases Back to School allowance by 25%


Print page

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has increased the clothing & footwear allowance for eligible school children in what is one of his final acts as Minister for Social Protection.

Minister Varadkar has increased the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance from €100 to €125 for children aged 4-11 and from €200 to €250 for children aged 12 years and over. This brings the total allocation for the Allowance this year to €47.4 million, an increase of €10 million on what was originally proposed for 2017. Around 108,000 families will benefit from the increase from July.

“Parents face significant costs at the start of every school year. The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is one of the single most effective ways for the Government to help families with school costs. This year some 194,000 children will benefit from this increase of up to €50. I am determined to reduce child poverty and I hope this increase sends out a clear signal of the Government’s renewed commitment,” Minister Varadkar said.

“I have also adjusted the income limits to ensure that increases in social welfare announced in Budget 2017 won’t affect people’s entitlement to the Allowance, which will be paid in mid-July to give parents time to prepare financially for the new school year. The additional costs will be met from within the Department’s allocation for 2017 in which there is an underspend due to rapidly falling unemployment levels.”

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear scheme is a nationwide scheme that provides a once-off payment to eligible families towards the cost of school clothing and footwear.

The majority of payments will be made automatically with no application form required. The Department will notify these customers of their entitlements shortly.

Customers who do not receive notification of an automated payment will need to make a written application.  Application forms will be made available over the coming week at all of the Department’s Intreo Centres, via SMS, email and from the Department’s website.  The closing date for receipt of applications is Saturday, 30 September, 2017.

Ends

Further information

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance scheme assists thousands of families with the cost of school clothing and footwear. The Allowance is paid in respect of eligible children between the ages of 4 and 17 on or before 30th September 2017 and eligible children between the ages of 18 and 22 on or before 30th September 2017 who are in full-time second level education.

To request an application form, a person should text FORM BTSCFA followed by their name and address to 51909. Any person whose circumstances have changed should contact the Department of Social Protection at 1890 66 22 44 or email bscfa@welfare.ie

Income Limits for 2017 are: 

Couple with: 

Income Limit 

Lone Parent with:  

Income Limit

1 child 

€576.90

1 child 

€418.10

2 children

€606.70 

2 children 

€447.90

3 children

€636.50 

3 children  

€477.70

4 children

€666.30*

4 children 

€507.50*

*Limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional child     

Rates of Payment
The rates of payment are:
€125 for children aged 4 to 11 on the 30th September 2017;

€250 for children aged 12 to 22 on the 30th September 2017. (Children between the ages of 18 and 22 must be in full-time second level education.

Full information on the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is available on the Department’s website at this link: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Back-to-School-Clothing-and-Footwear-Allowance.aspx

Last modified:14/06/2017