Social welfare: Thousands of parents eligible for up to €385 per child as back-to-school costs mount
Parents across Ireland have been voicing their concerns as the cost of school supplies ahead of the new term affects household budgets drastically.
From uniform costs, to stationery, books, shoes and backpacks, the costs quickly add up and can mean the difference between making ends meet over the next few months - and not.
The Irish government has a specific scheme in place to help parents in this situation by giving them up to a €385 cash boost per eligible child each September.
The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) is a payment to help with the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school.
According to Citizen’s Information, to get the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, your child must be:
- Aged between 4-17 on 30 September in the year you are applying for BSCFA
- Aged between 18-22 and returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of the year you are applying for BSCFA
You can get the BSCFA if you have a child that falls into the above and:
- You are getting a qualifying social welfare payment or participating in an approved employment, education or training support scheme. You can find a list of qualifying payments and schemes.
- Your household is within the BSCFA income limit. See ‘Income limits’ below.
- You and each child you are claiming the BSCFA for is resident in Ireland.
If you are getting a social welfare payment, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified
Child (IQC) with your payment.
However, there are some exceptions to this, for example:
- You are getting a qualifying social welfare payment, but you are not getting an increase for your child because the rules of the payment do not provide for a child payment. Maternity Benefit and Adoptive Benefit are examples of this. You can still claim BSCFA if you meet the other BSCFA rules.
- You are getting a qualifying social welfare payment, but you are not getting an increase for your child because your spouse or partner's income is over the specified limit for your payment. You can still claim BSCFA if your overall household income is within the BSCFA income limits. See ‘Income limits’ below.
In 2023, the BSCFA paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on 30 September 2023 is €260.
In 2023, the BSCFA 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 2023.
For more information, visit Citizens Information.
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