Written answers

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Grant Payments

Photo of Rose Conway-WalshRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein)
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138. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that students are being denied SUSI support while renting a room from a landlord availing of the rent-a-room relief due to the fact the landlords are only required to register with the Revenue Commissioners not the Residential Tenancies Board; if he will provide SUSI with the means of accepting alternative proof of accommodation when landlords are not registered with the Residential Tenancies Board but are included in other schemes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53529/21]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The Student Grant Scheme, administered by SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland), provides grant assistance to students attending an approved course in an approved institution who meet the prescribed conditions of funding, including those relating to nationality, residency, previous academic attainment and means.

The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter, in the first instance, for the centralised student grant awarding authority SUSI to determine.

In order for SUSI to be satisfied that an applicant meets the criteria to be classed as an Independent student, documentary evidence of their independent residence is requested and an indicative list of accepted documents is sent to the applicant.

If the applicant is unable to submit evidence that their tenancy is registered with the Residential Tenancy Board then they can submit one or more of the other following documents listed:

- A Local Authority lease agreement or a letter confirming their rental under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) or any Government housing scheme/arrangement. Private housing lease agreements will not be accepted.

- A letter on headed paper from a Rental Agency confirming their tenancy;

- A utility bill or statement of top-ups for pay as you go utility meters in their own name, for example; landline telephone, fixed broadband, gas, electricity, cable/satellite television, home heating, waste, mortgage statements or property tax letters. SUSI does not accept mobile telephone bills. If the utility bills in the household are in the applicant’s spouse's name, they are required to provide their marriage certificate with the utility bill. If they are co-habiting, SUSI will accept utility bills in their partner's name covering the relevant period along with correspondence issued to the applicant, at the same address and covering the relevant period e.g. bank statement or Statement of Liability/P21 or equivalent if sourced from outside the State; and/or

- Official documentation posted to the applicant at their address and relating to their residence there. For example, a letter from a Department of Social Protection confirming Rent Allowance at this address or a letter from any Government department confirming they are living independently from their parents. Please note, SUSI does not accept bank statements alone for this purpose.

Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down in writing by SUSI 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 Grants Appeals Board.


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