The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance entitlements of some 115,350 families in respect of 205,125 children has now been established, with no application form required. Speaking after he was informed by Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, Fine Gael Deputy for Cavan and Monaghan, Joe O’Reilly TD welcomed the news.

I am delighted with this development in the scheme; it will make the whole process faster and more user friendly for those involved. The new changes aim to reduce the long waiting times as experienced by parents in previous years’ stated the Deputy.

Explaining the new automatic allocation process, the Deputy said ‘Letters will be sent out to the people concerned early next week, informing them of their entitlement and notifying them that payment will issue in week commencing 16th of July. Customers will be able to collect their Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance payment on the same day as their normal weekly Social Welfare payment.’

‘If anyone does not receive an automated payment they will need to fill in an application form. To avoid duplication with the automated payments, I would advise people to wait until 20th of June before sending off their application forms. Application Forms are available from Cavan and Monaghan Social Welfare Offices or on www.welfare.ie. This year you can also avail of a text service, to get form you can text ‘FORM BTSCFA’ followed by your name and address to 51909’ continued the Deputy.

‘If you have to submit an application, a text message confirming receipt of your application will be issued to anyone who puts their mobile number down on the application form’ concluded the Deputy.

There is a special LoCall number in operation, 1890 66 22 44, for anyone with additional queries. Information regarding the scheme will be available on the Department of Social Protections website, www.welfare.ie , which will be regularly updated.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website