KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: How to apply for back-to-school allowances

June 25th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

If you don’t get a letter by June 20th telling you that you qualify for back-to-school payments, you can apply online at

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Q. I am currently on Jobseekers Allowance. Is there a payment to help with the costs of children going to school?

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

Q. How do I quality to claim the BTSCFA?

A. To qualify, you must be getting a social welfare payment or taking part in a training, employment or adult education scheme.

In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child with your payment. People getting the Working Family Payment and the Back to Work Family Dividend can qualify for BTSCFA.

Also, your total family income must be below a certain level for your family. So for one child, that’s a limit of €620; two, €668; three, €716 and four, €764.

Q. What is the BTSCFA rate this year?

A. In 2022, the allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on September 30th is €160.The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on 30 September is €285. 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.

Q. When can you apply for the BTSCFA?

A. The BTSCFA scheme is open for applications from June 20th-September 30th.

Q. I am living & working in Ireland but my child is living in another EU country. Can I claim BTSCFA?

A. No. You cannot claim BTSCFA for a child who is not resident in the State.

Q. I have applied for a qualifying social welfare payment but have not got a decision. Can I apply for the BTSCFA?

A. 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.

Q. How do I apply for the BTSCFA?

A. The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection pays the BTSCFA automatically to many families.

If you are paid automatically, you don’t have to apply for the BTSCFA. You will get a letter before June 20th  to let you know that you will be paid automatically.

The BTSCFA automatic payments will be paid the week beginning July 13th.

If you do not get a letter, telling you that you automatically qualify, you can apply online at

You must have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account to apply online.

The closing date for applications is September 30th.

For further information about any of the types of leave for parents outlined here or if you have other questions, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in West Cork on 0818 07 8390. They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you.

The offices are staffed from 10am-5pm from Monday to Thursday and on Friday from 10am-4pm.

Alternatively you can email [email protected] or log on to

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