Funding for Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance scheme is trebled

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Minister Humphreys Makes €152.9 million available for back to school clothing and footwear allowance this year

A total of €152.9m is to allocated under the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance scheme

The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, has confirmed an increase in funding for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance scheme.

A total of €152.9m has been allocated in 2020 compared to €53.7m last year.

Minister Humphreys says the almost threefold increase in funding is to ensure the scheme is available to families who continue to be unemployed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance provides a once-off payment to eligible families - in Limerick and across the country -  towards the cost of school clothing and footwear. 

The Allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4 - 11 years on or before September 30 2020 is €150 while an allowance of €275 is paid for each eligible child aged between 12 and 22.

Students 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 2020.

To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, a person must be in receipt of certain social welfare payments (including the Pandemic Unemployment Payment) or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes. There are also household income thresholds that must be met.

The Department says a large number of payments are being paid automatically with no application form required. It is being paid to some 115,000 families in respect of approximately 210,000 children.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has processed these payments which are currently being issued to customers at a cost of €43 million.

“Returning to school can be a very pressurised time financially for many parents and this year brings the added anxiety created by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The allocation for the scheme this year is €152.9 million to take into account the increased number of families who continue to depend on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.” said Minister Humphreys.

Families who received a payment last year and who have not already received a notification from the Department of an automated payment are advised to make an application now via www.MyWelfare.ie. 

Parents and guardians wishing to apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance can apply online once they have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account. 

The closing date for receipt of applications for this year’s Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is 30th September 2020.

For queries contact 071 9193318 and 0818 11 11 13 or email bscfa@welfare.ie.