Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (317)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

317. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a person (details supplied) can qualify for higher education grants or the back to education allowance in view of the fact that the person has already undertaken private courses and is unable to progress further due to costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42896/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The objective of the back to education allowance (BTEA) is to assist those who are distant from the labour market to acquire the necessary education to improve their chances of becoming independent of the social welfare system. 

The allowance enables social welfare customers in receipt of certain payments to pursue full-time education courses and to continue to receive income support in the form of the BTEA, subject to the customer remaining eligible for their underlying welfare payment.   

The BTEA is not intended to be an alternative form of funding for people entering or re-entering the third level education system.  The Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grant payable by the Department of Education and Skills represents the primary support for persons pursuing education.  In general, most BTEA customers will also have certain registration and related college fees paid by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).

The individual concerned is not currently in receipt of a payment from my Department. I would advise that he contacts his local Intreo Centre to discuss the options available to him.

I trust this clarifies the situation for the Deputy.