SWA - Back to School Clothing and Footwear Scheme


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Table of Contents

PART 1 ENTITLEMENT

Description of Scheme
Qualifying Conditions
Assessable income
Special Categories
Disqualifications
Rates Structure

PART 2: APPLICATION, ASSESSMENT AND DECISION PROCEDURES

Annex: QUALIFYING PAYMENTS
Social Insurance Payments
Social Assistance payments
Other payments

PART 1: ENTITLEMENT

Description of Scheme

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) scheme is a non-statutory scheme which provides a once-off payment to eligible families to assist with the extra costs when children start school each autumn. The scheme operates from 1 June 2017 to 30 September 2017.

Qualifying Conditions

  1. The allowance is paid in respect of eligible children between the ages of 4 and 17 on or before 30 September and eligible children between the ages of 18 and 22 on or before 30 September if in full time second level education. (evidence of returning to second level education must be provided for all children aged 18 or over);
  2. An increase for a qualified child (IQC) must be paid to the applicant or their spouse/civil partner/cohabitant in respect of the child for whom the allowance is being claimed.
  3. the applicant or their spouse/civil partner/cohabitant must be in receipt of a qualifying payment as listed in Annex A;
  4. the assessable income for the household must be within a set income limit. (See Income Limits below)
  5. the applicant must be resident in the state
  6. the child(ren) must be resident in the state

Assessable income

Household income is assessable in accordance with the guidelines on means set out in the Assessment of Means for SWA. There are a number of exceptions to these rules for the purposes of the Back to School Clothing & Footwear Scheme, as follows:

  1. any income received in the form of Family Income Supplement (FIS) or Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD) is not assessable. However, income from earnings should be assessed under normal SWA rules;
  2. income received by way of Higher Level Education grants is not assessable;
  3. with regard to earnings from employment of a rehabilitative nature, €120 of such earnings is disregarded for the purposes of the Back to School Clothing & Footwear scheme.

 

    Income Limits

    Income limits for couples 2017


    Couple

    Income limit

    1 child

    €576.90

    2 children

    €606.70

    3 children

    €636.50

    4 children

    €666.30*

    *The income limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional dependent child.


    Income limits for lone parents 2017


    Lone parent

    Income limit

    1 child

    €418.10

    2 children

    €447.90

    3 children

    €477.70

    4 children

    €507.50*

    *The income limit is increased by €29.80 for each additional dependent child.

SPECIAL CATEGORIES

BSCFA claims from participants in a 'welfare to work' scheme are assessed using either the standard income limit test, or the special test for retention for secondary benefits (known as the €317.43 test) and the most beneficial assessment for the customer is applied. Given the level of the BSCFA household income limits, applicants generally only benefit from the retention test in cases where the welfare to work scheme is disregarded.

In cases where an applicant, or their spouse/civil partner/cohabitant, is participating on Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme only, the value of this allowance may be disregarded and an alternative means test carried out using the €317.43 'secondary benefit test'. A payment of BSCFA may then be made subject to the other scheme eligibility rules being satisfied.

Guardians

Guardian’s payments is a qualifying payment for BSCFA. The Guardian's Payment (Contributory and Non Contributory) is not assessable.

Maternity Benefit and Adoptive Benefit

Maternity Benefit and Adoptive Benefit are qualifying payments where no increase for a qualified child (IQC) payment is made subject to the other conditions of the scheme being met.

Disqualifications

Foster children

BSCFA is not payable in respect of foster children. The financial support available to foster parents from Tusla - the Child and Family Agency(Foster Care Allowance), includes assistance with the cost of clothing and footwear for the foster child.

Rates Structure

There are two rates of payment and are age related.

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2014 is €125.00.

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2014 is €250.00. Children aged between 18 and 22 years must be in full time Second Level education in a recognised school or college.

The rates are set out in the information leaflet on Rates of Payment booklet SW 19


PART 2: APPLICATION, ASSESSMENT AND DECISION PROCEDURES

See this section in Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme


ANNEX A - Qualifying Payments for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Scheme

Social Insurance Payments

  1. Deserted Wife's Benefit
  2. Illness Benefit
  3. Disablement Benefit
  4. Carer's Benefit
  5. Health and Safety Benefit
  6. Invalidity Pension
  7. Injury Benefit
  8. State Pension (Contributory)
  9. Incapacity Supplement
  10. Jobseeker's Benefit
  11. Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory Pension
  12. Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
  13. Maternity Benefit
  14. Adoptive Benefit

Social Assistance Payments

  1. Blind Person's Pension
  2. Carer's Allowance
  3. Deserted Wife's Allowance
  4. Disability Allowance
  5. Family Income Supplement.
  6. Farm Assist
  7. State Pension (Non-Contributory)
  8. One-Parent Family Payment
  9. Pre-Retirement Allowance
  10. Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  11. Jobseeker's Allowance
  12. Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension
  13. Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
  14. Disabled Person's Rehabilitative Allowance

Other Payments

  1. Pensions paid by the UK Department of Work and Pensions (formerly the UK Department of Social Security or DSS);
  2. 32. Payments to participants on approved work placement or income support schemes. These include Back to Work Family Dividend, Community Employment, Community Services Programme, Tús, Gateway, Short Term Enterprise Allowance, Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, Jobs Initiative, Youthreach, Rural Social Schemes, Springboard Initiative and JobBridge.
  3. Payments to participants on a recognised education and training course such as Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) or Back To Education Allowance;
  4. Participants on non-craft, full time, SOLAS/FÁS training schemes, CERT, and LES training schemes
Last modified:27/06/2017
 

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