Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (245)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

245. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a higher education grant was not awarded to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 11; if he will address the points raised by this applicant that this student is totally independent of their parent but fail to qualify for higher education grant assistance based on their means; if the regulations governing the grant assessment and payment are wholly unfair in this case; if there are exceptions to the provision; and if a grant will be awarded to this person. [9846/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Deputy will appreciate that in the absence of all of the relevant details that would be contained in an individual's application it would not be possible for me to say whether or not a student should qualify for a grant.

However, to be assessed independently of their parents, students under the age of 23 must present compelling independent evidence of estrangement to the grant awarding authority. The type of independent evidence includes a letter from a social worker or other appropriate officer of the Health Service Executive explaining the circumstances of the estrangement. Confirmation that a candidate is living separately from his/her parents/guardians is not sufficient.

If an individual applicant considers that she/he has been unjustly refused a student grant, she/he may appeal, in the first instance, to the appeals officer in SUSI.

Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down, in writing, by SUSI, and remains of the view that the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his/her case, an appeal form outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the independent Student Grant Appeals Board.