Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Social Protection

Back to Education Allowance Eligibility

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fine Gael)
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36. To ask the Minister for Social Protection the reason the back to school clothing and footwear allowance ceased for children attending third level education. [46710/14]

Photo of Kevin HumphreysKevin Humphreys (Dublin South East, Labour)
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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 costs of school clothing and footwear when children start school each autumn. The total budget provision for the scheme for 2014 is €46.3 million.

Since 2012 successive Budget amendments have further aligned the scheme with the Irish education system. In 2014 payment of the allowance was restricted to persons aged over 18 years and attending secondary school. Children over the age of 18 years attending third level education who previously qualified for payment of BSCFA would generally be eligible for third level student grants.

Families on low incomes can avail of a number of supports that provide financial assistance towards children who are in full-time education until the age of 22, including through the payment of qualified child increases (QCIs) on primary social welfare payments and through the family income supplement (FIS).


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