Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance

17th July, 2012

Messaage from Minister Joan Burton.

As promised I am updating you on progress in relation to the 2012 Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) Scheme.  The BSCFA entitlements of some 115,350 families in respect of 205,125 children have now been established with reference to their primary scheme entitlement, with no application form required.  Letters issued to the people concerned informing them of their entitlement.  These customers can collect their BSCFA payment next week (week commencing 16 July) on the same day as their normal weekly payment next week.

 Customers who did not receive an automated payment are now required to complete an application form which will be processed from a centralised unit in the Department’s office in Letterkenny.  The Allowance is means tested so customers who are in receipt of benefit payments, on Community Employment or Back to Work schemes will be required to complete an application form.  Some 30,000 additional applications have been received for processing and an acknowledgement has issued by text to the 85% who requested one.  Claims which were received in June have been processed and will be paid next week bringing the total number of customers who will receive their allowance next week to 130,000.

 The BSCFA section is processing claims which were received in July at present.  Payment in respect of these claims will issue on a daily basis as they are decided so the majority of customers who have an entitlement to the allowance will receive their payment in July.

 Forms are available from Local Offices, via SMS (text “Form BTSCFA” followed by your name and address to 51909) and on www.welfare.ie.  A phone bank is operational to deal with queries on the scheme. The LOCALL number is 1890662244.

 I will continue to provide you with regular updates in relation to claim processing in order that you can provide an update to your constituents, but it would speed the process if you would refrain from making enquiries on individual cases.  Information in relation to the scheme is also regularly updated on the Departments website.