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Families hit with Back to School Allowance delays 18.07.18

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 applications.
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 State.
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 children.
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 added.
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