Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance 2013

10 Jun 2013

What is the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance?

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

You (the parent or guardian) must be getting certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes and your child/ren must be aged btween 4 and 22 on or before 30 September of the year you apply.


How will it be paid in 2013?

In 2013 the Department of Social Protection will pay BTSCFA automatically to many customers. This means that many families do not have to apply for the payment.

If you received this payment last year and your circumstances have not changed you should receive a letter stating when and how your allowance will be paid.


What if I did not recieve an automatic payment this year?

If you do not receive an automatic payment this year, you must make an application for the Allowance. Application forms will be available after 14 June in all social welfare offices and on the Department’s website

The Department of Social Protection will examine all applications received (and not yet processed).

The Department will post website updates on the progress being made in processing these applications. When a decision has been made on your application you will get a letter informing you of this and, where payment has been awarded, when and where you can collect the payment. If the allowance is refused you will be told how to request a review of the decision. If you require assistance making a review contact the INOU on (01) 856 0088 or by e-mail:


How to apply

The scheme is open from 1 June to 30 September. People getting an automatic payment will be informed before 14 June 2013 and will get their payment in the week starting 15 July 2013.

Application forms will be available after 14 June 2013.


What are the Rates of Payment?

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on or before 30 September 2013 is €100.

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 12-22 on or before 30 September 2013 is €200.


Who qualifies for the BTSCFA?

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

  • Getting a social welfare payment (including Family Income Supplement) or a Health Service Executive payment, or     
  • Taking part in an approved employment scheme (back to work scheme) including JobBridge and Tús, or
  • Taking part in a recognised education or training course, or
  • Involved in an Area Partnership Scheme, or     
  • Attending a FÁS, Fáilte Ireland or LES training scheme

Your child must be aged between 4-22 on or before 30 September. If they are aged between 18-22 they must be in full-time education in a recognised school or college.

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 or Adoptive Benefit are examples. In such cases you can still claim BSCFA if you satisfy the other criteria. In other cases an IQC is not paid because the income of your spouse or partner is over the specified limits but if your overall household income is within the limits specified below you may qualify. You cannot claim BSCFA for a child that is not resident in the State.

If you have applied for a social welfare payment and are waiting for a decision on your application, you should apply for the BSCFA. When your social welfare payment has been approved your application for BSCFA will be processed.


What are the 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.

Your total household income includes your main social welfare or Health Service Executive payment, the income of any dependent children on the Youthreach Programme 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.


Where to apply

Completed application forms together with supporting documentation should be returned to:

Department of Social Protection

PO Box 131


Co. Donegal

Locall:1890 66 22 44

Please Note: It may take a number of weeks to process your application.