Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Questions (148)

Richard Bruton

Question:

148. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Social Protection if a person on the pandemic unemployment benefit is entitled to take up a full-time study as an undergraduate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31801/20]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department’s Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) provides income support for jobseekers and certain others in receipt of social welfare payments who pursue full-time courses of education at second or third level. 

The BTEA has been extended as part of the July Stimulus in response to Covid-19.  Ordinarily a person must be in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for a minimum period before being eligible to apply for the BTEA when pursuing training or education.  The qualifying period has been waived for people coming from the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).  

In order to avail of continued financial support while pursuing a full-time course, a person in receipt of the PUP should apply for a jobseeker payment.  The BTEA is payable at the jobseeker's rate.

Where an individual in receipt of PUP wishes to pursue part-time study, they can continue to receive their payment while they continue to satisfy the conditions of the scheme.

Any person seeking to return to education should engage with their local Intreo Centre to assess their options. I trust this clarifies the position.