Know your rights: Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance

I am getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. I have one child starting school in September. Can I qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance?

Yes, you can. To qualify for this payment which helps with back to school costs, you must be getting a social welfare payment or taking part in a training, employment or adult education scheme. Your children must be aged between 4 and 22 on or before 30 September 2020. If they are aged between 18 and 22 they must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college. In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child with your payment.

However, if you are getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the Working Family Payment or the Back to Work Family Dividend, you can qualify. Your application will be means-tested and 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 children aged between 12 and 22. It is paid automatically to many families. This means that they do not have to apply for the payment. If you qualify automatically, you will get your payment the week beginning 13 July 2020.

You will need to apply online if you do not get a letter confirming your payment by 6 July 2020. If any of your children are aged 18 or over, you must apply for the BTSCFA for them and show evidence that they are in second-level education (even if automatic payments have issued for other children in your family).

From 6 July 2020, you can apply for BTSCFA online through You must have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account to apply online.

Read more about the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance and you can read detailed guidelines on

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Citizens Information Centres are offering a phone and email service. You can access information and advice from: