Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

Introduction

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school.

The BTSCFA scheme is open from 20 June 2022 until 30 September 2022.

The BTSCFA will be paid automatically to many families in the week beginning 11 July 2022. If you are paid automatically you don’t have to apply for the BTSCFA. You will get a letter before 20 June 2022 to let you know that you will be paid automatically.

If you haven't got a letter by 20 June 2022, you must apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance online – see ‘How to apply’ below.

The closing date for applications is 30 September 2022.

Extra €100 payment

On 5 July 2022, it was announced that the BTSCFA rate will increase. For a child aged 4-11, it will increase by €100, from €160 to €260. For a child aged 12-22, it will increase by €100, from €285 to €385.

If you get your BTSCFA payment the week starting 11 July 2022, you will get the extra €100 the week starting 18 July 2022.

Any BTSCFA paid after 18 July 2022 will include the extra €100.

Rules

You may qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance if you are:

  • Getting a social welfare payment (including Working Family Payment and Back to Work Family Dividend or a Health Service Executive payment, or
  • Taking part in an approved employment scheme (back to work scheme) or
  • Taking part in a recognised education or training course, or
  • Getting a Daily Expenses Allowance (formerly called Direct Provision Allowance) for a child in education (or for yourself if you are 18–22 and returning to full-time second-level education), or
  • Involved in an Area Partnership Scheme, or
  • Attending a FET (formerly Fás) training course

Your child must be aged between 4-17 on 30 September. If they are aged between 18-22, they must be returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of the year you are applying.

In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) with your payment. There are some exceptions to this. For example, you may be getting a qualifying payment but you are not getting an increase for your child (because the rules of the scheme do not provide for a child payment) – Maternity Benefit and Adoptive Benefit are examples. You can still claim BTSCFA if you satisfy the other criteria.

You may qualify for BTSCFA, if you are not getting an IQC because your spouse or partner's income is over the specified limit for your payment, but your overall household income is within the BTSCFA limits.

You cannot claim BTSCFA for a child who is not resident in the State.

Foster children are not eligible for the BTSCFA because the financial support parents get from Tusla – the Child and Family Agency (Foster Care Allowance) – includes help with the cost of clothing and footwear for the child.

Note that if you have applied for a social welfare payment, or have appealed a decision not to award you a social welfare payment and are waiting for a decision on your application, you should apply for the BTSCFA before the scheme closes. Your entitlement to the BTSCFA will be decided when you get a decision on your application or appeal.

Income limits

To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, your total household income must be less than the amounts set out in the table below. All your dependent children are taken into account for the income limits (including children who do not qualify for BTSCFA because they are aged under 4).

Your total household income includes your main social welfare or Health Service Executive payment and any other income you may have including wages (before tax, but excluding PRSI and a standard travel allowance of up to €20 per week), maintenance, savings and investments.

Savings and investments (including property, but not your home) are assessed as follows:

Savings and investments assessment
Capital Weekly means assessed
First €5,000 not taken into account
Next €10,000 €1 per €1,000
Next €25,000 €2 per €1,000
Balance €4 per €1,000


Any income you get from Child Benefit, Rent Supplement or other income supplement, Working Family Payment, guardian's payments, Blind Welfare Allowance, Rehabilitation Training Allowance, rehabilitative employment (up to €140 per week), Domiciliary Care Allowance , Mobility Allowance and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is not counted.

Weekly income limits for 2022
Number of children Income limit
1 child €620
2 children €668
3 children €716
4 children €764*

*The income limit is increased by €48 for each additional dependent child.

Rates

In 2022, the allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on 30 September 2022 is €260.

In 2022, the allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on 30 September is €385. Children 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 2022.

The rates include the increase announced on 5 July 2022.

How to apply

The BTSCFA scheme is open from 20 June 2022 until 30 September 2022.

It is paid automatically to many families. If you are paid automatically, you don’t have to apply for the BTSCFA. You will get a letter before 20 June 2022 to let you know that you will be paid automatically. Automatic payments will be paid the week beginning 11 July 2022.

If you do not get a letter confirming that you will get the payment automatically, you must apply for the BTSCFA online on www.MyWelfare.ie.

The closing date for applications is 30 September 2022.

Where to apply

Reviews

If you are unhappy with the decision on your application, you should send a letter to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Review Section at the address below setting out why you are not happy with the decision and asking that the claim be reviewed. You should request a review within 21 days of getting your decision.

Department of Social Protection

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Review Section

Social Welfare Services
Department of Social Protection
College Road
Sligo
F91 T384

Tel: 071 919 3318 or 0818 111 113
Page edited: 11 July 2022