Families in Donegal are being urged to apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance to assist with the extra costs this autumn. 

The once-off payment will be made available again this year and families who are not automatically entitled to the scheme are being advised to check their eligibility. To do this, families must make an application before the end of September deadline.

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2019 is €150 while an allowance of €275 is paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2019.

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 2019.

Funding of €56.3 million has been provided for the scheme this year. It will be automatically paid to almost 110,000 families in respect of approx. 200,000 children from the week beginning 8 July to allow families sufficient time to prepare for back to school.

Similar to previous years, the majority of payments will be paid with no application form required.

Families who do not receive notification from the Department of an automated payment by the end of June will need to make an application even if they received a payment last year – the application form will be available from 24 June in all Intreo Centres, via SMS (text Form BTSCFA followed by your name and address to 51909) or by sending an email to [email protected] and on the Department’s websitewww.welfare.ie.

There is also an option to apply online this year at www.mywelfare.ie. Customers wishing to avail of this option need to have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account.  Those who do not have a Public Services Card can make an appointment at www.mywelfare.ie to get one.

The closing date for receipt of applications for this year’s Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is 30 September 2019.

The Department is also providing a dedicated phone bank that will be open to answer enquiries from Monday 24 June during business hours 9.00am to 5.00pm.  Anyone wishing to make enquiries about this scheme can contact LoCall 1890 66 22 44.

Employment Affairs and Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, T.D., said: “The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance provides a once-off payment to eligible families to assist with the extra costs when children start school each autumn. I was very pleased to secure €56 million in Budget 2019 for this year’s scheme.

“Many families can be under much pressure with back to school costs and I would urge them to check their eligibility for this scheme which provides a once-off payment to assist with the costs of school clothing and footwear. While the benefit  will be automatically paid to almost 110,000 families in respect of approximately 200,000 children already registered with us, I would recommend others to check out the scheme to see if they are eligible,

“The income limits for this payment have been adjusted to ensure that the increases in social welfare payment rates introduced by Budget 2019 do not negatively impact on people’s entitlement to the allowance.”