The administrative arrangements for the 2011 back to school clothing and footwear allowance scheme are different from those that applied in previous years. For this year, the majority of back to school clothing and footwear allowance entitlements were fully automated with no application form required from customers. This year the automated process identified 127,000 households and generated payments in respect of some 243,000 children.
In order to qualify for an automated payment the parent of the child must have been in receipt of a qualifying payment that included an increase in respect of a qualified child at the commencement of the scheme and the Department were satisfied that the household satisfied the means test for the scheme. The scheme commenced from the 1 June 2011 with the entitlement created based on the preceding weeks entitlement.
Persons who have not received an automated payment are required to complete an application form that is available for download from www.welfare.ie or by texting “Form BTSCFA”, followed by their name and address to 51909. Completed application forms should be returned to Department of Social Protection, PO Box 131, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Processing has begun on the manual applications already received and it will take 4-6 weeks to process applications.
The rates of payment for the back to school clothing and footwear allowance are as follows:
€200 for each eligible child aged 2-11
€305 for each eligible child aged 12-17
€305 for each eligible child aged 18-22 who is in full-time education.