25.8.08 - parents urged to claim back to school allowance

Many  people  who  are  struggling  with  the  costs  of  sending  their  children  back to  school  are  not  aware  that  they  qualify  for  the  Back  to  School  clothing  and footware  allowance.

That's  according  to  Sinn  Féin  Councillor Fiona Kerins whose  party  is in  the  middle  of  a  leafletting campaign  to  raise  awareness  of  the  payment.  Speaking  at  the  weekend Cllr Kerins said,  “The  back  to school  allowance  is  one  of  the  most  under-claimed  of  all  HSE  payments  and  families  who  badly  need it  are  not  even  aware  it  exists.  We  are  currently  leafletting  as  many  homes  in  the  city  as  possible  to try  to  ensure  a  maximum  uptake  of  the  allowance.  Already  we  have  met  many  parents  who  have  told us  how  difficult  they  are  finding  it  to  kit  out  their  children  for  the  return  to  school; 200  or  305  euros, depending  on  the  age  of  the  child,  has  made  a  huge  difference  to  them”.

“To  qualify,  parents  must  already  be  in  receipt  of  a  HSE  or  social  welfare  payment  in  respect  of  their children,  such  as  Family  Income  Supplement  or  the  dole.  The  fact that  such  people  are  in  social welfare  or  community  welfare  offices  regularily  and  are  still  not  being  made  aware  of  this  payment  is very  disappointing.  The  allowance  can  be  claimed  from  1st  of  June  to  30th  of  September  so  there  is still  time  to  claim  and  we  would  urge  anyone  who  thinks  they  may  qualify  to  contact  the  Citizens information  service,  the  HSE  or  any  Sinn  Féin  member”.

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