North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has highlighted that the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be paid in early July, and has also encouraged families who don’t receive an automatic payment to make an application for the allowance.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “My colleague the Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, has confirmed to me that the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be made available again this year.
“The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a once-off payment to assist eligible families with the extra costs when children start school each autumn.
“In 2018, 13,535 Cork families received the allowance to help them with the cost of school clothing and footwear at what is an expensive time of year.
“The majority of eligible families in Cork will receive an automatic payment from the week beginning 8th July, which is great as it allows families sufficient time to prepare for back to school. These families will receive written confirmation before the end of this month informing them of their automatic entitlement.
“I strongly encourage families in Cork who do not receive this letter regarding an automatic entitlement to make an application for the allowance, even if they received a payment last year. To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, a person must be in receipt of certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes and their income must not exceed the threshold.
“People can apply up to 30th of September on www.mywelfare.ie or by picking up application form from 24th of June in their local Intreo Centre. You can also get this form by texting ‘Form BTSCFA’ followed by your name and address to 51909, or by sending an email to BSCFA@welfare.ie.”
The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2019 is €150 while an allowance of €275 is paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2019. Dependents aged between 18 and 22 years must be returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of 2019.
Minister Doherty said: “I was very pleased to secure €56 million in Budget 2019 for this year’s scheme.
“Many families can be under much pressure with back to school costs and I would urge them to check their eligibility for this scheme which provides a once-off payment to assist with the costs of school clothing and footwear. While the benefit will be automatically paid to almost 110,000 families in respect of approximately 200,000 children already registered with us, I would recommend others to check out the scheme to see if they are eligible.
“The income limits for this payment have been adjusted to ensure that the increases in social welfare payment rates introduced by Budget 2019 do not negatively impact on people’s entitlement to the allowance.”
The Department of Social Protection is also providing a dedicated phone bank that will be open to answer enquiries from Monday 24th June during business hours 9.00am to 5.00pm. Anyone wishing to make enquiries about this scheme can contact LoCall 1890 66 22 44.