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Getting them back to School

Published 1 week ago 16th July 2021 by Editor

Clothing and Footwear Allowance – What is it and how to apply

The school holidays are only just starting so it seems early to be talking about going back again when children are all excited about being free. However, the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BTSCFA) is now being distributed by the Department of Social Protection. Families who have received a letter by 21st June will be paid automatically.

If you think you might be entitled to the BTSCFA and did not receive a letter or are a new applicant, you may be unsure of how to receive this allowance. Citizens Information Centres (CICs) in Co. Tipperary can help explain whether you are eligible for BTSCFA and how to apply for it.

According to Tipperary Development Manager Mary Plunkett “Many families will receive the BTSCFA in the week beginning 12th July. However if families didn’t get a letter by 21st June saying the payment was on the way, then they must apply online at MyWelfare.ie or request a paper application form from the Department of Social Protection at 071 9193318. This year the allowance paid for each eligible child aged 4-11 on 30th September is €150 while it is €275 for eligible children aged 12-22 in full-time second-level education in a recognized school or college in the autumn of 2021. The staff in our CICs throughout the county are here to help, whether it is assisting with filling out this form or answering any queries you may have.”

Bridget O Dwyer Information Officer Clonmel Citizens Information Centre stated, “There is some additional information regarding the BTSCFA that many people may not be aware of, for example, people who are in receipt of the Covid PUP payment may be entitled to the BTSCFA if their household income is below a certain threshold for their family size; where there is a child who is 18 or older and still in second-level education, an application must be made and evidence provided that they are still in secondary school, even if the payment is going to be automatically paid for other children in the family.”

Olive Carter from Barnardos Family Support and Early Year’s Service stated, “Many of our parents would have found the form filling complicated and the support of the local CIC is so valuable to ensure that they can claim for everything their family is entitled to. If this payment wasn’t available many of our parents would find it impossible to buy their children new shoes and uniforms for returning to school without getting into debt. For these families, it is a lifesaver”.

Citizens Information Centres (CICs), funded by the Citizens Information Board, provide free, impartial and confidential information, advice and advocacy services to the public on social services, rights and entitlements.

We are available from Monday to Friday and while our drop in service is not currently available due to COVID-19, our centres in Co. Tipperary are still staffed and we are assisting clients through phone and email and limited face to face appointments. We can be contacted at 0761 07 6460 and clonmel@citinfo.ie or visit our website, www.citizensinformation.ie which is packed full of useful information.

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