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Guidelines

Index:

Introduction
Information Leaflet
Legislation
Administration
Description of Provision
Qualifying payments
Qualifying conditions
Permission to attend course
Rates of payment
Means disregard
Payment

Appendix
Information Leaflet ( SW 70) available from.


Introduction

As part of its Social and Family Support Services, the Department of 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:

Information Leaflet

Back to Education Programme ( SW 70).

Legislation

The "Out of Pocket Expenses" provision is administrative - provided for in Budget 2001 (RDO Memo 40/01 refers) and Budget 2007.

Administration

The Out of Pocket Expenses provision is administered by:

Employment Support Services (ESS)
Back to Education Schemes
Shannon Lodge
Carrick on Shannon
Co. Leitrim.


OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES

Description of Provision

The Back to Education Programmes operated by the Department of Social Protection take cognisance of the fact that more structured full-time second or third level courses of study may not suit persons who have been out of the education system for some time.

In recognition of this, persons in receipt of certain Social Welfare payments may pursue courses of education, training or development that are not covered under the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) Scheme. A broad range of courses can be pursued, including personal development courses, basic education e.g. literacy and numeracy classes, general training courses and the acquisition of specific job skills.

In circumstances where a person receiving a relevant Social Welfare payment agrees to attend a specified short-term course of education, training or development that is initiated and organised by a Department Facilitator, s/he will be paid "Out of Pocket Expenses". This payment is in recognition of the fact that attendance on a specified course may entail expenses for those on a small budget. The "Out of Pocket Expenses" is a payment towards costs i.e. meal and travel that participants may incur as a result of participation on a course of education, training and development.

Qualifying SW Payments

To qualify for payment of "Out of Pocket Expenses" a person must be in receipt of one of the following Social Welfare payments. A Qualified Adult Dependant may also qualify for "Out of Pocket Expenses".

  • Farm Assist
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Deserted Wife's Allowance
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit
  • Widow's/Widower's Non-Contributory Pension
  • Widow's/Widower's Contributory Pension
  • Prisoners Wife's Allowance
  • Disability Allowance
  • Illness Benefit
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Blind Pension
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Carers Allowance
  • The Qualified Adult (QA) of one of the above relevant payments
  • Jobseekers Allowance & Jobseekers Benefit

NOTE: See seperate Guideline document i.e. Education, Training and Development Option (E,T&D) for recipients of Jobseekers Allowance and Jobseekers Benefit eligibility to "Out of Pocket Expenses".

Qualifying Conditions

  • Person must be in receipt of one of the above relevant Social Welfare payments or must be the Qualified Adult Dependent (where appropriate) of a person receiving one of the above payments.
  • The course of education, training or development must be initiated and organised by a Facilitator through locally based service providers i.e. Vocational Education Committees, F�S , HSE, Aontas, NALA etc.
  • The course must be of a short term duration - up to 18 weeks which may be extended to a maximum of 26 weeks, subject to the approval of the Regional Co Ordinator.
  • Where required, an exemption or permission to pursue a course of education, training or development while retaining entitlement to a Social Welfare payment must be obtained from the relevant Scheme Owner.

NOTE: In whereas, the "Out of Pocket Expenses" provision is administrative, the relevant qualifying Social Welfare payment may be legislative and an exemption or special permission to pursue a course of study/training may be required prior to course participation. Facilitators should ensure that participants receive (where required) an exemption or special permission from the relevant Scheme Owner permitting participation in the course.

SW payments where exemption/permission is required

Disability Allowance

Exemption or permission not required. However, Disability Allowance Section must be notified that DA recipient is commencing a course of education, training or development.

Illness Benefit

Exemption or special permission is required prior to commencing course of education, training or development.

Invalidity Pension

Exemption or permission is required prior to commencing course of education, training or development.

Incapacity Supplement

Exemption or permission is required prior to commencing course of education, training or development.

Carers Allowance

Exemption or permission not required. However, Carers Allowance Section must be notified that Carer is commencing a course of education, training or development. Also, course of education, training or development cannot exceed 15 hours per week.

NOTE: See Education, Training and Development (ET&D) Option for qualifying criteria for Jobseekers Allowance and Jobseekers Benefit.

Rate of Payment

Out of Pocket Expenses is paid at a weekly rate of �32.00 (May 2007) for participants who agree to attend a course of study/training for three days or more per week. This is reduced to a weekly rate of �20.00 for participants who agree to attend a course of education, training or development for two days or less per week.

Means disregard

Out of Pocket Expenses is a payment towards costs i.e. meal and travel that participants may incur as a result of participation on a course of education, training or development. This additional payment is disregarded for means purposes.

Payment of Out of Pocket Expenses

In the case of SWLO/ ISTS based One Parent Family Payments, payment of the Out of Pocket Expenses is the responsibility of the relevant SWLO. On approval of payment the Facilitator completes and signs form ESSF1 with client and course attendance details. Form ESSF1 is then forwarded to the relevant SWLO for payment. Payment of Out of Pocket Expenses should be made weekly by the SWLO using the Exceptional Payment facility on ISTS.

Payment of Out of Pocket Expenses to participants in receipt of other relevant qualifying payments, including PSO/ ISTS cases, is the responsibility of Employment Support Services (ESS), Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The Facilitator should complete and sign form ESSF1 with client and course attendance details and forward to SFSS for payment.

NOTE: In all cases, payment of Out of Pocket Expenses will only be made on the basis of certified daily/weekly attendance on the course of education, training or development.

APPENDIX 1.

Information Leaflet ( SW 70) from:

  • Nation-wide 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:26/05/2010
 

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