The Back to Education Programme can support you to take part in educational and personal development courses that will help you to access employment. There are 3 different options under the Back to Education Programme:
The Back to Education Allowance can support people getting a social welfare payment to access second-level and third-level education and limited post-graduate courses. The Back to Education Allowance is paid for the duration of your course.
You must meet certain criteria to qualify for the Back to Education Allowance and from June 2014 all new BTEA claims must be recommended and approved by a DSP Case Officer before you start the course.
If you are unemployed, the Part-Time Education Option allows you to keep your Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit and attend a part-time day or evening course that will improve your chances of getting a job (including Springboard courses). You continue to get your jobseeker's payment at your usual rate. You must also continue to be available for and actively seeking work. This means you still need to sign on at your Social Welfare Local Office.
There are no specific eligibility criteria for the Part-Time Education Option. You can be any age and may be unemployed for any length of time before starting a part-time course of education.
If you are getting Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit, the Education, Training and Development Option allows you to keep your social welfare payment and attend a course not covered by the standard Back to Education Allowance such as a personal development course, a basic education course (for example, literacy classes) a general training course or specific job skills. You continue to get your jobseeker's payment at your usual rate.
You must meet certain criteria to qualify for the Education, Training and Development Option.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.