Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

Introduction

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school.

The BTSCFA is paid automatically to many families. This means that they do not have to apply for the payment. If you qualify automatically, you will get your payment the week beginning 13 July 2020.

You will need to apply online for the BTSCFA, if you do not get a payment notification letter by 6 July 2020 - see ‘How to apply’ below.

The closing date for applications is 30 September 2020.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a qualifying social welfare payment for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance. However, to get the BTSCFA you will need to satisfy the means test - see ‘Rules’ below.

Rules

You may qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance if you are:

Your child must be aged between 4-17 on or before 30 September 2020. If they are aged between 18-22 they must be returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of 2020.

In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) with your payment. There are some exceptions to this. For example, you may be getting a qualifying payment but you are not getting an increase for your child (because the rules of the scheme do not provide for a child payment) – Maternity Benefit, Adoptive Benefit and the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment are examples. In such cases you can still claim BTSCFA if you satisfy the other criteria. In other cases an IQC is not paid because the income of your spouse or partner is over the specified limits but if your overall household income is within the limits specified below you may qualify. You cannot claim BTSCFA for a child who is not resident in the State. Foster children are not eligible for the BTSCFA because the financial support parents get from Tusla - the Child and Family Agency (Foster Care Allowance) includes help with the cost of clothing and footwear for the child.

Note that if you have applied for a social welfare payment, or have appealed a decision not to award you a social welfare payment and are waiting for a decision on your application, you should apply for the BTSCFA before the scheme closes. Your entitlement will be established when you get a decision on your application or appeal.

Income limits

To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, your total household income must be less than the amounts set out in the table below. All your dependent children are taken into account for the income limits (including children who do not qualify for BTSCFA because they are aged under 4).

Your total household income includes your main social welfare or Health Service Executive payment and any other income you may have including wages (before tax, but excluding PRSI and a standard travel allowance of up to €20 per week), maintenance, savings and investments.

Savings and investments (including property, but not your home) are assessed as follows:

Savings and investments assessment
Capital Weekly means assessed
First €5,000 not taken into account
Next €10,000 €1 per €1,000
Next €25,000 €2 per €1,000
Balance €4 per €1,000


Any income you get from Child Benefit, Rent Supplement or other income supplement (formerly Mortgage Interest Supplement), Working Family Payment, 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.

Weekly income limits for couples 2020
Couple Income limit
1 child €603.70
2 children €643.70
3 children €683.70
4 children €723.70*

*The income limit is increased by €40 for each additional dependent child.

Weekly income limits for lone parents 2020
Lone parent Income limit
1 child €438.30
2 children €478.30
3 children €518.30
4 children €558.30*

*The income limit is increased by €40 for each additional dependent child.

Rates

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2020 is €150.

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2020 is €275. Children aged between 18 and 22 years must be returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of 2020.

How to apply

The BTSCFA is paid automatically to many families. This means that they do not have to apply for the payment. If you qualify automatically, you will get your payment the week beginning 13 July 2020.You will need to apply online, if you do not get a payment notification letter by 6 July 2020

From 6 July 2020, you can apply online using MyWelfare.ie.

The closing date for applications is 30 September 2020.

Where to apply

From 6 July 2020, you can apply online using MyWelfare.ie.

The closing date for applications is 30 September 2020.

Reviews

If you are unhappy with the decision on your application, you should send a letter to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Review Section at the address below setting out why you are not happy with the decision and asking that the claim be reviewed. You should request a review within 21 days of getting your decision.

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Review Section

Social Welfare Services
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
College Road
Sligo
F91 T384

Tel: 071 919 3318 or 0818 11 11 13
Locall: 0818 11 11 13
Page edited: 3 June 2020