Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is now open for new applications
Over €118 million being provided in these supports for schoolchildren
Monday, 21st June, 2021
The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys T.D, has today announced that funding for the School Meals Programme will continue throughout the summer holidays.
Minister Humphreys said she wanted to reassure parents and school authorities that this vital support will remain in place during the school recess.
Funding under the School Meals Programme is normally confined to the academic year, but an exception has been made this summer in recognition of Covid-19.
This extension will ensure that participating primary and secondary schools can provide food parcels benefiting thousands of pupils over the summer months.
Furthermore, Minister Humphreys has confirmed that funding from her Department will be made available to schools participating in the Department of Education’s School Based Education Programme, which focusses on pupils with complex special educational needs those at risk of education disadvantage.
Minister Humphreys has also today opened applications for the Back To School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, which last year supported 111,000 families with back to school costs.
Overall, over €118 million is today being provided today through these three important schemes.
Minister Humphreys made the announcements as she visited St Daigh’s National School in Inniskeen.
Minister Humphreys commented:
“I am pleased to extend the funding for the School Meals Programme to schools throughout the summer holidays. This will ensure that thousands of children from every county will continue to receive a healthy and nutritious meal every day.
“The School Meals programme is a vital support for children and their parents. And it is a scheme that I support wholeheartedly and indeed want to see expand.
“I was delighted to hear first-hand from the pupils of St. Daigh’s primary school in Inniskeen and Principal Tomás Mac Giollachomáin, the benefits of the School Meals Programme for their school and their experience of the scheme.
“Extending the funding for the School Meals Programme during school closures over the past twelve months has provided certainty and security to the pupils, during what I know has been a very difficult time during a very unusual school year.”
“My Department is currently contacting the schools involved with the School Meals Programme to advise them that the programme can continue over this summer holiday period and I want to thank all the schools involved with the programme for their continued support and co-operation.”
The School Meals Programme provides funding towards the provision of food to some 1,506 schools and organisations benefitting 230,000 children. The Government is providing over €65 million in funding to deliver the School Meals Programme this year.
Minister Humphreys also confirmed that funding under the School Meals Programme will be made available to schools participating in the Department of Education’s School Based Summer Education Programme to provide a breakfast and lunch for the pupils attending.
The Summer Education Programme focuses on pupils with complex special educational needs and other pupils who are at risk of education disadvantage. It has been introduced this summer as a Covid-19 response measure and it will assist the pupils taking part to re-engage with education, build confidence and increase motivation and promote wellbeing.
In addition, for some who are at key transition stages, this programme will help them move along with their peers to the next stage in their education.
Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance 2021
Minister Humphreys also announced that her Department’s Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance scheme for 2021 opens for applications today (21st June). The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance provides a once-off payment to eligible families towards the cost of school clothing and footwear.
The allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4 - 11 years on or before 30th September 2021 is €150 while an allowance of €275 is paid for each eligible child aged 12 - 22 years on or before 30th September 2021. Students aged between 18 - 22 years must be returning to full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of 2021 to retain an entitlement to payment.
Minister Humphreys commented:
“The past year presented many challenges to parents of school children with periods of school closures and remote learning. The majority of payments for the 2021 Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will issue automatically to some 111,000 families in respect of 204,000 children.
“Some €42 million will be paid to these families during the week beginning 12th July.
“All other applications can be made securely online via www.MyWelfare.ie and my Department has established a dedicated phone-line for all related enquiries.”
The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be paid automatically to some 111,000 families in respect of approximately 204,000 children during the week beginning 12th July.
The Department of Social Protection is currently processing these payments and these customers will receive written confirmation by today, 21st June informing them of their automatic entitlement. The Department will issue payments totalling approximately €42 million to these families during the week beginning 12th July. The Government is providing €53.5 million for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance this year.
Families who do not receive notification from the Department of an automated payment today will need to make an application online on www.mywelfare.ie even if they received a payment last year. Online applications can be made anytime from 21st July.
The Department is providing dedicated phone lines 071 9193318 and 0818 11 11 13 to answer enquiries relating to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance during usual business hours Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm. People also have the choice of emailing the Department at email@example.com if they have an enquiry regarding their application or entitlement.
The closing date to apply for this year’s Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is 30th September 2021.
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Note for Editors
People wishing to apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance can apply online via www.mywelfare.ie. To apply online, customers must have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account.
Customers who do not have a verified MyGovID account, should contact the Department’s Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance section and our officials there can verify their account. Customers who do not have a Public Services Card or who cannot apply online have the option to submit a paper application form. Application forms are only available by contacting the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance section by phone on 071 9193318 or 0818 11 11 13, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, a person must be in receipt of certain social protection payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes and the total household income must within the thresholds set out in the table below. All dependent children are taken into account for the income limits (including children who do not qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, because they are under the age of 4).
Income Thresholds for 2021 are:-
Lone Parent with:
*Income Threshold is increased by €45 for each additional child.
The total household income includes a person’s main social protection or Health Service Executive payment and any other income they may have including wages (before tax, but excluding employee PRSI and a standard travel allowance of up to €20 per week), maintenance, savings and investments.
Savings and investments (including property, but not the family home) are assessed as follows:
Weekly means assessed
not taken into account
€1 per €1,000
€2 per €1,000
€4 per €1,000
Any income a family gets from Child Benefit, Rent Supplement or Mortgage Interest Supplement, Working Family Payment, Guardian’s Payments, Blind Welfare Allowance, Rehabilitation Training Allowance, rehabilitative employment (up to €120 per week), Domiciliary Care Allowance, Mobility Allowance is not assessed.
Full information on the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is available at www.gov.ie/bscfa.
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