Approximately 2,859 County Westmeath families are amongst those who will benefit from the enhanced Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance.
Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Heather Humphreys, recently announced that the rates of payment would increase by €100 per child to reflect the ongoing cost of living pressures facing families.
This means that €260 will be paid in respect of children aged from 4-11 years old and €385 will be paid in respect of children aged 12 years and over in second level education.
The payment from the Department of Social Protection is designed to support eligible families with the cost of school uniforms and footwear ahead of the upcoming school term.
Overall, payments totalling over €72 million will be made automatically in respect of over 231,000 children. A notification of the automated payment is sent to customers by post or through their MyWelfare account.
The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance remains open for applications until September 30 and eligible families are being encouraged to apply. Decisions on these cases will be processed manually and if entitled payment will issue once they are processed.
Confirming the increased payments, Minister Humphreys stated that the government is particularly conscious of the need to support families during such increased cost of living times.
Education Minister, Deputy Norma Foley, will spearhead the free school books scheme which commences for local primary schools in September.
“I am also particularly delighted to be able to continue the expansion of the Hot School Meals Programme. The expansion of the programme to all DEIS primary schools and special schools will mean by the end of this year, 1,000 schools will have access to hot school meal funding and from 2024, we will start the roll-out of Hot Meals to all remaining primary schools,” Deputy Foley asserted.