Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Education Schemes

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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603. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason Back to Education Allowance recipients are not allowed to work full time during the summer months and retain their rent supplement. [32534/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, 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 who pursue courses of education at second or third level.  The provision for the scheme for 2022 is €105.4 million. 

The Rent Supplement scheme provides short-term income support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from any other source.  The scheme ensures that those who were renting, but whose circumstances have changed due to temporary loss of employment or income, can continue to meet their rental commitments.

Rent supplement is not generally payable where a person or their spouse/partner is in full time employment, i.e. 30 hours or more per week.

Rent supplement continues to play a key role in supporting families and individuals in private rented accommodation, with the scheme supporting 11,295 active recipients at the end of May 2022.

The Deputy might note that the objective of the Housing Assistance Payment is to identify and transfer those with long term housing need to a local authority sponsored solution whilst allowing Rent Supplement to revert to its core purpose of providing short term income support to those temporarily unemployed. Payments under the HAP scheme are based on the local authority differential rent means test under which a full-time employment restriction does not apply.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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