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. People getting the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the Working Family Payment or the Back to Work Family Dividend can qualify. Your application will be means-tested and your total family income must be below a certain level for your family size.

Your children must be aged between 4 and 22 on 30 September 2021. If they are aged between 18 and 22 they must be in full-time second-level education in a recognised school or college in the autumn of 2021. In general, you must be getting an Increase for a Qualified Child with your payment.

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 a letter before 21 June 2021 to let you know.

You need to apply online for the BTSCFA, if you do not get a letter confirming your payment. 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 21 June 2021, you can apply for BTSCFA online through MyWelfare.ie. You must have a Public Services Card and a verified MyGovID account to apply online. If you have difficulties applying online, you can contact the BSCFA section on 071 91 93318 or 0818 11 11 13. The closing date for applications is 30 September 2021.

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


You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

Know your rights: EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC)

What is the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC)?

The EU Digital COVID Certificate (previously called the Digital Green Certificate) will help citizens move freely and safely within the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DCC is for EU citizens, residents and their families and non-EU citizens who are legally staying or residing in the EU.

It will be proof that you have either:

  • Been vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Received a negative test result
  • Recovered from COVID-19

Being vaccinated will not be a pre-condition to travel.

What information will be included on the DCC?

The certificate will only contain necessary key information including:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • The date of issue
  • Relevant information about your vaccine or test or recovery
  • A unique identifier number

The DCC will be free and available in both digital and paper formats. The certificate has a QR code to avoid fraud.

Individual member states will decide how the DCC will be used as part of national public health measures. If you are travelling abroad you should always check the entry requirements before you travel.

The system will be used throughout the EU and will also be open to Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland. You can check the European Centre of Disease Control’s map (EU traffic lights system) before you travel abroad.

You can read more about the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) on citizensinformation.ie.


You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.

National Recovery Plan

An Economic Recovery Plan for Ireland was announced on 1 June 2021. The Plan will support the resumption of economic activity and get people back to work as Ireland opens up and recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Plan is set out under 4 pillars:

Pillar 1: Ensuring Sustainable Public Finances

Pillar 2: Helping People Back into Work
This pillar includes the extension of existing emergency pandemic financial supports including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Pillar 3: Rebuilding Sustainable Enterprises

Pillar 4: A Balanced and Inclusive Recovery

You can also get information on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (pdf) which sets out how Ireland plans to utilise an initial allocation of €915 million in grants from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility – which supports economic and social recovery, and addresses green and digital issues.

The Plan sets out 3 priorities:

Priority 1: Advancing the Green Transition (€503 million)
Priority 2: Accelerating and Expanding Digital Reforms and Transformation (€295 million)
Priority 3: Social and Economic Recovery and Job Creation (€181 million)

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan will work alongside and reinforce the Economic Recovery Plan (pdf). The draft National Recovery and Resilience Plan will be formally assessed by the European Commission, expected to take two months, before being submitted to the Council of the European Union for approval.