THIS week he urged parents to apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance for their children. The payment is made to low income families to help with the costs of outfitting their children for the new school term.
Cllr Browne said of the allowance “the BTSCFA is vital for many families but many others don’t know about it. It is the most under-claimed of all entitlements. People are struggling to find the money for their children’s clothes and shoes without realising they can claim this payment. Any parents who claimed it in previous years should have gotten a letter confirming that they will receive it again this year. If any have not they should re-apply immediately”.
“The payment is made to parents who are on certain social welfare payments- including jobseekers allowance and the Family Income Supplement or on job schemes such as JobBridge or the Back to Work scheme or on some training courses. They must be getting an extra payment for their children. Whenever we campaign on this we find people who are entitled to additional payments such as FIS that they don’t know about. We are able to help them claim FIS and the BTSCFA”.
“Payments are made for children aged from 4 to 22 who are in full time education and the rates are €150 for children up to 11 and €250 for those from 12 to 22. There are income limits, for example, a couple with 1 child must earn less than €563.60 to qualify and the limit increases depending on the number of children in the family. Different rates apply to single parents”
“The closing date for applications is the end of September but in recent years there have been delays in processing applications so people should claim early. Forms are available in Social Welfare offices, at www.welfare.ie or by texting FORM BSCFA to 51909. Anyone can find out more about it from Citizens Information, the Social Welfare or Sinn Féin. Times are tough for families so I would urge anyone who qualifies, to claim their entitlements under this scheme”.