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Back to School clothing and footwear allowance increases for 2017

Back to School clothing and footwear allowance increases for 2017

Applications for the Back to School clothing and footwear allowance opened this week and there are increases in both age brackets.

The increases, announced last month by then Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar kicked in this week and the new Minister, Regina Doherty, has asked parents to start applications for the new rates this week.

Applications close on September 30.

Minister Doherty said on the Department's website:

“The costs associated with children both starting and returning to school can put a lot of financial pressure on families throughout the country. The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance has increased – by 25% this year - from €100 to €125 for children aged 4-11 and from €200 to €250 for children aged 12 years and over.  This payment can make a real difference in helping families and is available for schoolchildren from the age of four in primary school up to age 22 for students who are in second level education.  I want to strongly encourage families to find out more about their eligibility at www.welfare.ie/backtoschool.

“The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a nationwide scheme that provides a once-off payment for eligible families to assist with the costs of school clothing and footwear when children start school each autumn.  This year the Government is providing €47.4 million for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear scheme, an increase of €10 million on the original allocation.”

The allowance will be paid automatically to over 100,000 people, in respect of 194,000 school children, in the week ending Friday 14th July 2017.  

All those who will receive the payment automatically will be contacted by letter by the Department of Social Protection by 1st July 2017.

Those who do not receive notification of an automated payment or want to make a first time application will need to apply to the Department. 

Accordig to the Department's website you may qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance if you are:

  • Getting a social welfare payment (including Family Income Supplement and Back to Work Family Dividend) or a Health Service Executive payment, or
  • Taking part in an approved employment scheme (back to work scheme) including JobBridge or
  • Taking part in a recognised education or training course, or
  • Involved in an Area Partnership Scheme, or
  • Attending a FET (formerly Fás), Fáilte Ireland or LES training scheme
  • Your child must be aged between 4-17 on or before 30 September 2017. If they are aged between 18-22 they must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.

There are household income limits that applicants must also meet.

For details on those check out the link here.