Crowe urges parents to apply for Back-to-School allowance early
Sinn Féin’s Education Spokesperson, Deputy Seán Crowe, has urged parents to make an early application for the Back to-School Allowance so as to avoid the lengthy delays that affected payments to families last year.
Deputy Crowe said
“I would urge parents to apply for the Back to School Clothing and Allowance early to ensure prompt payment. Last year there was a six-week delay in processing claims, meaning many thousands of families had to wait well into October before receiving their entitlements for school clothing and footwear.
“Last year the Department of Social Welfare only started dealing with the 66,000 applications received from the second week of July onwards, and they were only able to process 1,000 forms daily. This resulted in the system becoming overwhelmed and led to a serious backlog.
“Customers who are entitled to an automatic payment should have received their letters by the 20th June 2012 and those applying for the allowance can obtain a form from their local Social Welfare Office or by downloading one from welfare.ie or by texting FORM BSCFA followed by your name and address to 51909.
“The €150 available to parents qualifying for the allowance for children aged 11 and under and €250 for children between 12 and 22 is to assist with clothing their children for school. Many of the applications for the BSCFA are made on behalf of parents who are struggling to make ends meet and they clearly won’t be able to wait until October or November for this payment.”