The assessment of means under my Department's student grant scheme is based on gross income from all sources. Therefore, all income is assessed from the same starting point, eliminating any distortion which might arise from different spending decisions.The means test arrangements of the student grant scheme are applied nationally. In the case of both employed and self-employed applicants, gross income is assessed with certain specified social welfare and health service executive payments excluded.
The eligibility of an applicant, or the level of the grant awarded, may be re-assessed by the awarding authority in the event of a change of circumstances in the academic year.
I have no plans at present to depart from the above practice in respect of the determination of income.