WELFARE officers have
asked families to “bear with them” as they clear a
backlog of applications for the Back to School
Clothing and Footwear Allowance.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social
Protection is currently experiencing delays in
processing payments due to a combination of
technical issues and a high volume of new
It is currently being inundated with calls from
applicants but warned it is operating a limited
phone service as staff work to process applications
in the coming weeks.
“The department wishes to sincerely apologise to
customers affected for the delay and inconvenience
caused,” it said.
Some 150,000 families received the means-tested
payment last year at a cost of about €49m to the
It is worth €125 for each eligible primary school
child and €250 for each eligible secondary pupil.
The department said it had already contacted all the
customers it believes qualifies for the payment this
year but those who did not receive written
confirmation of this need to apply.
They have until September 30 to do so.
To qualify for the payment in 2018, applicants must
be on a qualifying welfare payment with a weekly
income limit between 587 euro for a couple with one
child and some 682 euro for a couple with four
For one parent families the income limit is between
425 euro for a parent with one child and just over
520 euro for a single parent with four children.
Savings and investments, apart from the family home,
are also assessed as means.
“The department is asking customers who have made an
application to bear with us, while we work to clear
the backlog as quickly as possible,” the statement