Minister Doherty launches Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance Information Campaign

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€25 increase for children aged 4-11 years

€50 increase for 12 year olds and over


On launching a public information campaign for the Department of Social Protection’s Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance today (Monday 3rd Jul 2017), Employment and Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, T.D. called on parents to apply now for the payment which has been increased by 25% this year. 


The Allowance which is a means-assessed payment is available to help families with the cost of children returning to school in late August and September. 

Minister Doherty said:

“The costs associated with children both starting and returning to school can put a lot of financial pressure on families throughout the country. The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance has increased – by 25% this year - from €100 to €125 for children aged 4-11 and from €200 to €250 for children aged 12 years and over.  This payment can make a real difference in helping families and is available for schoolchildren from the age of four in primary school up to age 22 for students who are in second level education.  I want to strongly encourage families to find out more about their eligibility at

“The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a nationwide scheme that provides a once-off payment for eligible families to assist with the costs of school clothing and footwear when children start school each autumn.  This year the Government is providing €47.4 million for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear scheme, an increase of €10 million on the original allocation.”

The allowance will be paid automatically to approx. 108,000 customers, in respect of 194,000 school children in the week ending Friday 14th July 2017.  All customers who will receive the payment automatically will be contacted by letter by the Department of Social Protection by 1st July 2017.

Customers who do not receive notification of an automated payment or want to make a first time application will need to apply to the Department.  Application forms are available at all of the Department’s Intreo Centres, by sending an SMS, email and can be downloaded from the Department’s website at  The closing date for receipt of applications is Saturday, 30th September, 2017.

The Allowance is paid in respect of eligible school children between the ages of 4 and 17 on or before 30th September 2017 and eligible students between the ages of 18 and 22 on or before 30th September 2017 who are in full-time second level education.
The public information campaign, #backtoschool which will be mainly broadcast and digital will run for 2 weeks commencing today.

Note for Editors
To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, the total household income must be less than the amounts set out in the table below. All dependent children are taken into account for the income limits (including children who do not qualify for BSCFA, because they are under the age of 4).
The total household income includes a person’s main social welfare or Health Service Executive payment, the income of any dependent children on the Youthreach Programme and any other income they may have including wages (before tax, but excluding employee PRSI and a standard travel allowance of up to €20 per week), maintenance, savings and investments.

Savings and investments (including property, but not the claimant’s home) are assessed as follows:


Weekly means assessed

First €5,000

not taken into account

Next €10,000

€1 per €1,000

Next €25,000

€2 per €1,000


€4 per €1,000


Any income from Child Benefit, Rent Supplement or Mortgage Interest Supplement, Family Income Supplement, guardian's payments, Blind Welfare Allowance, Rehabilitation Training Allowance, rehabilitative employment (up to €120 per week), Domiciliary Care Allowance and Mobility Allowance is not counted.
Income Limits for 2017 are

Couple with: 

Income Limit 

Lone Parent with:  

Income Limit

1 child 


1 child 


2 children


2 children 


3 children


3 children  


4 children


4 children 


*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. 

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 071 919 3318 or email

Full information on the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is available on the Department’s website at this link: .


Last modified:03/07/2017