Know Your Rights: Back To School Clothing And Footwear Allowance

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Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kerry Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public…

Question: I am getting Jobseeker’s Allowance and my oldest child is starting school this year. Is there a payment to help with the costs of children going to school?

Answer: The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) helps you meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school.

Your children must be aged between 4 and 22 on or before 30 September 2019. If they are aged between 18 and 22 they must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college.

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To qualify, you must be getting a social welfare payment or taking part in a training, employment or adult education scheme.

In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child with your payment. People getting the Working Family Payment and the Back to Work Family Dividend can qualify for BTSCFA.

Also, your total family income must be below a certain level for your family size. The Allowance is €150 for children aged between 4 and 11 and €275 for those aged between 12 and 22.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection pays the BTSCFA automatically to many families.

This means that they do not have to apply for the payment. If you qualify automatically, you will be notified by 24 June 2019 and you will get your payment the week beginning 8 July 2019. If you do not get an automatic payment you must apply for the Allowance.

If any of your children are aged 18 or over, you must also apply for the Allowance for them and show evidence that they are in second-level education (even if automatic payments have issued for other children in the family).

From 24 June 2019, you can apply for the Allowance online through You must have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account to apply online.

You can also apply using an application form, which is available in all Intreo centres and Social Welfare Branch Offices and online from or you can request a form by texting Form BTSCFA followed by your name and address to 51909 or by emailing

The closing date for applications is 30 September 2019. A dedicated phone line is available to answer your questions from 24 June 2019: (071) 919 3319. If you are refused the Allowance, you can ask for a review of the decision.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Contact us in Tralee on Tel: 0761 07 7860 Killarney 0761 07 7820, Listowel 0761 07 7840 Kenmare 0761 07 7810, & Caherciveen 0761 07 7780. Outreach Services; Killorglin weekly, Dingle monthly, please call Tralee for more information.

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000

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