What is the Back to Education Allowance?
Back to Education Allowance is for the unemployed, single parents, or disabled individuals on certain department payments, offering financial support for second- or third-level education in Ireland/Northern Ireland. It covers courses starting in these regions, with exceptions for mandatory years abroad in a course.
How to qualify for Back to Education Allowance:
To qualify, you must be at least 21 (24 for postgraduate). Second-level course applicants need 3+ months of a qualifying payment; third-level course applicants need 9+ months. Qualifying payments include:
A break of up to 12 months from payment is permissible, but you must be on the payment immediately prior to the course. Youthreach, prison time, Supplementary Welfare Allowance, direct provision, and statutory redundancy periods can count towards the qualifying period, given entitlement to a qualifying social welfare payment immediately before you start your course of study.
Rates of Payment:
Dependent child holders get an annual €500 Cost of Education Allowance.
Any extra benefits (e.g. Fuel Allowance (NFS1) or Rent Supplement (SWA RS1)) can be kept. Payment rate matches the previous benefit received.
How to Apply: