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Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance – Minister highlights rising demand for scheme

Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., today (7


September) drew attention to the sharp increase in people seeking support under the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Scheme.

The Minister said: "The increased numbers of claimants this year is an unfortunate reflection of the severe financial pressure being faced by families at the moment. It is important that families who are eligible for the scheme avail of it. While the arrangements for the scheme changed this year and already 159,000 families and over 300,000 children have received a payment, there have been some delays in processing the increased numbers of applications. I can assure everyone that the staff in my Department are working extremely hard to clear the remaining applications as quickly as possible.’’

She added: "This year has seen a huge increase in the number of applications for the support available to help parents with the costs of school clothing and footwear for their children. If present trends continue we may be paying the allowance to almost 200,000 families compared with 160,000 last year.’’

Under the scheme, parents/guardians can receive €200 for each eligible child aged between 2 and 11 years and €305 for each eligible child aged between 12 and 22 years.

A person may qualify for payment of the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance if they are in receipt of a Social Welfare payment (including Family Income Supplement), or a Health Service Executive payment, are participating in an approved employment scheme or attending a recognised education and training course and have household income at or below certain set levels.

The closing date for completed applications is Friday 30th September 2011.