Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Department of Education and Skills
Student Grant Scheme Applications
156. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she was aware of a person (details supplied) who was refused a grant from Student Universal Support Ireland on the grounds of insufficient documentation in regard to independent living when the person was entitled to a back-to-education allowance and satisfied the Department of Social Protection's rules for independent living; why the person was refused, given the person's compliance with all requests for documentation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45574/15]
When considering whether a student meets the conditions to be assessed independently of his or her parents, grant awarding authorities are obliged to satisfy themselves beyond doubt that an acceptable degree of proof of independent living in the relevant period has been submitted by the grant applicant.
In exceptional circumstances, where it is not possible to produce such proofs of residence for demonstrable reasons, the awarding body may, at its discretion, agree to accept other documentary evidence that provides an acceptable degree of proof of independent living. For example, while an affidavit, if accompanied by other supporting documentation, may be considered as evidence of independent living, an affidavit in isolation is not considered acceptable as sole proof of residency. Individual circumstances should be discussed by an applicant with the grant awarding authority.
If an individual applicant considers that she/he has been unjustly refused a student grant, she/he may appeal, in the first instance, to their awarding body.
Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down, in writing, by their awarding body, and remains of the view that the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his/her case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the independent Student Grant Appeals Board.