Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (591)

Danny Healy-Rae


591. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a family can qualify for family income supplement but cannot qualify for a student grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33720/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The student grant scheme provides for different levels of maintenance support, depending on means.  Grants are also provided at adjacent and non-adjacent rates.  The higher non-adjacent rates are intended to provide additional support to those students who may be living away from home.

Under the terms of the student grant scheme, Family Income Supplement (aka the Working Family Payment) is treated as an income disregard and is therefore not included in the calculation of reckonable income. It is also a qualifying payment for the special rate of grant.

If an individual applicant considers that he has been unjustly refused a student grant or that the rate of grant awarded is not the correct one, she/he may appeal, in the first instance, to an appeals officer in SUSI. Please note that there are statutory time limits for making an appeal.

Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down in writing by an appeals officer and remains of the view that the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his case, an appeal may be submitted by the applicant via www.studentgrantappeals.ie outlining the position to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board within the required timeframe.

Students in third-level institutions experiencing exceptional financial need can apply for support under the Student Assistance Fund. This Fund assists students, in a sensitive and compassionate manner, who might otherwise be unable to continue their third level studies due to their financial circumstances. Information on the fund is available through the Access Officer in the third level institution attended. This fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis.