Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Back to Education Allowance

Photo of Gary GannonGary Gannon (Dublin Central, Social Democrats)
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958. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the pandemic unemployment payment will be made a qualifying payment for the back to education allowance. [11398/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The back to education allowance (BTEA) provides income support for jobseekers and others in receipt of certain social welfare payments that pursue courses of education at second or third level.  The main focus of the BTEA is to assist qualifying applicants to improve their educational qualifications and improve their prospects of gaining employment.

It is expected that, during the course of the accelerated Roadmap to recovery, as many people as possible in receipt of the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment will return to employment prior to the commencement of the 2020/21 academic year.  At the point of commencement of a new course of education a person previously in receipt of this payment will be required to establish an entitlement to a Jobseekers payment to qualify for the BTEA .   

A potential BTEA customer will not be adversely effected by time spent in receipt of the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment when it comes to calculating the qualifying period for BTEA. 

Any changes to the BTEA qualifying payments criteria would need to be considered in the overall policy and budgetary context.  The Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant payable by the Department of Education and Skills represents the primary support for persons pursuing education. 

I trust this clarifies the matter.


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