I am writing to you to update you on two announcements made this week.
The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is available again this year at the same rates as last year.
The Allowance helps parents with the cost of clothes, shoes and runners for the new school year. Allowance is paid to eligible children between the ages of 4 and 17 (ie their age on 30th September 2016) at a rate of €100 and between the ages of 18 and 22 at a rate of €200. The children must be in full-time second level education.
To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, you or your partner;
- Must be in receipt of a qualifying payment. Some of these payments include Carer’s Allowance, One-Parent Family Payment, State Pension, Family Income Supplement and your payment must include an increase(s) in respect of your child/children, and
- Must satisfy a means test.
Payments can also be made to participants on work placement or income support programmes. These include Community Employment, Tús, Gateway, Jobs Initiative, Youthreach, Rural Social Schemes, Community Services Programme.
Like previous years, most families will receive the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance automatically as you are known to the system from previous years. If you are automatically entitled, you will get a letter saying so by the 10th June. You will receive the payment by the 15th July.
If you don’t receive a letter, it means that you need to apply for it. Application forms will be available in Department of Social Protection offices, via the Department’s SMS form request service and by download from www.welfare.ie from the 10th June.
Tomorrow (Thursday, June 2nd) 86,000 carers will receive the Carer’s Support Grant. This is an important grant which is paid automatically to carers who are already in receipt of the Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance. However, if you have been providing full-time care to someone for the past six months (including June 1st) you may still be entitled to the grant even if you are not in receipt of any of the three payments. The Grant is not means tested. I am urging all carers who do not automatically qualify to apply for the grant. There is still time to make an application. The 2016 Carer’s Support Grant has been fully restored to its previous level of €1,700.
People providing full-time care for more than one person may also be entitled to €1,700 for each person that they are caring for.
If you have any questions please contact my office
Leo Varadkar TD
Minister for Social Protection