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Student thinking

Social Welfare payments and the student grant scheme

You could be able to keep your social welfare payment and go to college


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in education


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You’re currently receiving a social welfare payment and thinking of going to college. What does this mean? Will you qualify for a student grant? That depends on the type of payment you have been receiving and the type of course you will be starting.

If you have been in receipt of a social welfare payment, you may qualify for Back to Education Allowance (BTEA). It is up to you if you would prefer to transfer from your social welfare payments to BTEA, or continue receiving your payment and apply for a student grant. However, if you are on Jobseeker’s Allowance or Jobseeker’s Benefit, you have no choice but to transfer to BTEA. This is because one of the requirements of receiving JA or JB is that you are available and seeking work. Therefore, if you’re in full time education, you are not available or seeking full time employment.

Depending on your personal circumstances, if you have been claiming specific social welfare payments, you may wish to apply for a student grant while remaining on your payment.

You might qualify for a student grant while you receive any of the following:

  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Disability Allowance
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Illness Benefit

However, it might be more beneficial for you to apply to transfer to the BTEA.

If you transfer to BTEA you will:

  • Receive same amount of money as your previous social welfare payment
  • Not qualify for maintenance under the student grant scheme
  • Be eligible to apply for student grant for course fees and materials
  • Be able to work part-time without affecting your payment
  • Keep rent supplement (depending on how much your income increases)
  • Keep medical card

If you choose to continue receiving your social welfare payment you could:

  • Apply for maintenance grant and fee grant
  • Lose rent supplement or mortgage interest supplement, depending on your financial circumstances
  • Keep medical card for period of three years

Please note, that if you receive the One-parent Family Payment while you are attending your course and your child goes over the age limit or moves out, then you are no longer eligible to receive this payment. However, if you transfer to BTEA and this happens, you are entitled to same amount of benefit for duration of your course.

For more information please see the welfare wesbite.

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Published August 18th, 2016
Last updated November 29th, 2016
Tags education social welfare grants
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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