The local branch of Sinn Féin is advising parents who feel that they may qualify for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance but have not yet received a letter confirming their eligibility to immediately contact the Department of Social Protection. Local spokesperson Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin said that changes made to the scheme this year to automate the process may see some eligible parents being left out which could result in late payments.Mr O’ Súilleabháin said;
“The Department of Social Protection made sufficient changes to the administration of the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance this year. They correctly anticipated that more families would be entitled to the grant which is given to help with the cost of clothes and footwear for school children. To make the process more efficient and to cut down on admin they decided to automate the process. Anyone who is entitled to the BSCFA should have already received a letter of notification.”
“If you have not received this letter and feel that you are entitled to the allowance then it is imperative that you should contact the Department of Social Protection immediately to prevent a delay in payment. Payments are set to commence from the 16th of July.”
“In order to qualify for the BSCFA, a person must be in receipt of a qualifying Social Welfare payment and must also satisfy a means test. The rates of payment under the scheme are €150 for children between the age of 4 and 11 years and €250 for those between 12 and 22 years.”
A phone line is now operational to deal with queries on the scheme. The Lo-call number is 1890 662244. Application forms for the scheme are available from local Social Welfare Offices, via SMS by texting “Form BTSCFA” followed by your name and address to 51909 and online at www.welfare.ie. Anyone confused about this scheme or their eligibility for it can contact North Wexford Sinn Féin on 087-6013877.