Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs, has reviewed the Back to Education Allowance and is to extend it to continue to support students on post graduate courses which lead to a higher Diploma in any discipline or a Graduate Diploma in Education.
Because of the importance of supporting areas of greatest need, the decision to discontinue funding under the BTEA scheme for the summer period remains as many students traditionally find seasonal work at home or abroad. This decision applies only to BTEA participants who were in receipt of an unemployment payment prior to participation in the scheme.
However, all other participants (lone parents and people with disabilities) on the scheme remain unaffected by this decision and will retain payment during the summer period.
Where participants on the scheme who were previously in receipt of an unemployment payment are unable to find employment during the summer period, subject to satisfying the usual qualifying conditions, they may be entitled to Unemployment Benefit or Unemployment assistance.
Students taking part in work experience as part of their course of study will continue to receive BTEA as previously, provided that confirmation from the college registrar that the work is an integral part of their course is received by the Department of Social and Family Affairs.
ENDS May 27