Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (564)

Pearse Doherty


564. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if consideration will be given to reviewing an application for back to education allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52217/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Back to Education Allowance scheme (BTEA) is an educational opportunities scheme for persons in receipt of certain social welfare payments wishing to pursue second or third level courses of education, subject to meeting the qualifying conditions.

The objective is to raise educational and skills levels to enable them to better access to emerging  labour market needs in line with the Government’s activation strategy set out in Pathways to Work.

In order to qualify for BTEA the applicant must satisfy all of the following:

- be a specific age

- be in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for a specified period of time (strict adherence to this condition must be applied in all cases)

- commencing the first year of a course of study

- the course of study is full-time day for the complete academic year

- leading to a recognised qualification in a recognised college

- is progressing in the levels of education held

- The concerned person was in receipt of a Jobseekers Allowance payment from 24/05/2018 15/09/2018 and made an application for BTEA in Sept 2018.

- On the application form the concerned person stated that she was commencing year 2 of a 4 year course.  She had completed year one of the course from Sept 2017 until May 2018.

- One of the qualifying conditions is that an applicant must be commencing the first year of a course of study.

- As this condition was not satisfied the concerned person was informed of the decision that her application for the Back to Education Allowance scheme was disallowed. The concerned person was advised of her right to have her case reviewed and decided to seek a review. The review was carried out by an experienced officer who was not involved in the original decision. The original decision was upheld.

I trust that this clarified the matter for the Deputy,