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Student Universal Support Ireland

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 21 April 2021

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Questions (1339)

Bríd Smith


1339. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if student nurses who were requested by the State to work during the first wave of Covid-19 in 2020 will be penalised by SUSI when their earnings are taken into account for the current academic year; if he can intervene in such cases; if he will amend the regulations that are facilitating the reduction in the grants available to student nurses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20330/21]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

Under the Student Grant Scheme, grant assistance is available to eligible students attending an approved course in an approved institution who meet the terms and conditions of funding, including those relating to residency, means, nationality and previous academic attainment.

The decision on eligibility for a student grant is a matter, in the first instance, for SUSI to determine. For the 2020/21 academic year, student grant applications will be assessed based on gross income from all sources for the period 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2019. Any student in receipt of a maintenance grant who takes part in a placement as part of their course continues to receive payment of their maintenance grant while on that placement. In relation to holiday earnings, in the assessment of means for student grant purposes a deduction can be made for holiday earnings made by the applicant from employment outside of term time but within the reference period. A maximum of €4,500 can be deducted from the total reckonable income assessed. The student must also have been in education when this income was earned.

The Student Grant Scheme 2021 was published on the 25th March 2021. Under this scheme the Pandemic Placement Grant that was recently announced by the HSE and recommended by the Department of Health has been included as an income disregard. This will mean that it will not be included in the calculation of reckonable income for the 2021/22 academic year. Details of this scheme can be accessed via the SUSI website at SUSI’s online application process is now open for renewal applications for the 2021/22 academic year. New grant applicants will be able to apply on April 22nd. Students attending college in the academic year 2021/22 will be required to submit their grant application to SUSI (via ) to have their eligibility for grant assistance assessed.

Questions Nos. 1340 and 1341 answered with Question No. 1302.