Parents encouraged to check eligibility for Back to School allowance

Parents encouraged to check eligibility for Back to School allowance

Parents in Galway are being encouraged to check their eligibility for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance.

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be paid automatically to roughly 110,000 families on behalf of around 200,000 children in 2019.

Galway East TD Seán Canney said the allowance is a “very important support for families who come under a lot of pressure with the extra costs of starting or returning to school in the autumn.”

He urged families in Galway to check their eligibility for the means tested one-off payment of they don’t automatically qualify.

The income limits for this year’s scheme have been adjusted so that increases in social welfare payments don’t negatively affect people’s eligibility.

Budget 2019 provided for €56 million for the allowance this year, up from €49.5m the year before, which will provide an extra €25 per child.

The payment this year will increase to €150 for children aged 4-11, and €275 for each child aged 12-22.

To be eligible for the grant for people over 18 they must be returning to full time education.

“All those receiving the allowance should receive notification of their entitlement by the end of June,” Deputy Canney said.

The Back to School allowance will begin paying out after July 8, and people who are not automatically eligible can make an application from June 24 onwards.

“Anyone who believes they are entitled to receive the allowance but has not had notification should apply.”

Applications for the scheme will be accepted up until September.

Last year many families reported a delay in receiving their allowance die to a glitch in the system.

The Department of Social Protection has said that new measures have been put in place to see it doesn’t repeat this year, and an investigation is being carried out into the cause of the problem.

More information about the scheme and how to apply can be found here.

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