Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (247)

Jack Chambers


247. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a SUSI application by a person (details supplied) will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44895/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter for SUSI to determine.

In assessing an application for the 2019/20 academic year, SUSI will have regard to the following qualifying criteria for the special rate of maintenance grant:

1. The student must qualify for the standard rate of grant;

2. Total reckonable income, after income disregards and Child Dependant Increase(s) are excluded, must not exceed €24,000; and

3. As at 31st December of the previous year, the reckonable income must include one of the eligible long-term social welfare payments prescribed in the Student Grant Scheme.

The grant awarding authority has confirmed to my Department that there was no eligible payment in place on 31st December 2018 for the student in question. The Student Grant Scheme is a statutory based scheme and there is no discretion to waive this condition in any circumstances.

Grant eligibility is subject to annual review and applicants must continue to meet all qualifying criteria for the relevant rate of grant in order to continue to receive that particular rate of grant.

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. The fund is administered on a confidential, discretionary basis.

Tax relief at the standard rate of tax may be claimed in respect of tuition fees paid for approved courses at approved colleges of higher education. Further information on this tax relief is available from the Revenue Commissioners on www.revenue.ie.