Saturday 10 December 2016

The 60-second guide to... getting a digout for school uniforms

Published 26/06/2016 | 02:30

Get a dig out for school uniforms (stock photo)
Get a dig out for school uniforms (stock photo)

You should now apply to get either €100 or €200 towards the cost of your child's school clothing and footwear this September - if you qualify for the State's Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BCFA). The exact amount you get depends on the age of your child.

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The BCFA gives money towards the cost of a child's uniform and shoes. However, only certain parents qualify for it.

To qualify for the allowance, your income must be below certain limits, depending on the number of children you have. For example, if you are a couple with three children, you should qualify if you earn under €623 a week. If you are a lone parent with three children, you should qualify if you don't earn more than €469.70 a week. You can get a full breakdown of the income limits by calling the Department of Social Protection on 1890 662244 or by visiting its website (www.welfare.ie).

Only parents who are getting certain social welfare payments or taking part in training, employment or adult education schemes qualify for the BCFA.

Should this be your first time applying for the allowance, you can get an application form in your local social welfare office or by emailing the Department at BSCFA@welfare.ie. You must apply before September 30, 2016.

If you are already getting the allowance, you usually don't need to apply for it again - you should have received a letter earlier this month informing you of your entitlement and your expected payment. You should receive your payment by July 15. Contact the Department of Social Protection if you haven't received a letter.

Remember, the allowance was slashed in 2014. Back then, the payment was €150 for primary school children or €250 for secondary school children.

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