Back to Education Allowance

Back to Education Allowance


Back to Education Allowance (BTEA)

If you are unemployed, parenting alone or have a disability and are getting certain payments from the Department of Social Protection, you may take part in a second-or third-level education course and get a Back to Education Allowance (BTEA).

If you want to do other types of courses not covered under the BTEA, for example, personal development courses or general training courses you can return to education under the Education, Training and Development optionPart-time Education option or the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS).

The Department of Social Protection has published Frequently Asked Questions about the scheme.

From June 2014 all new BTEA claims from jobseekers must be recommended by a DSP case officer before a decision is made on your BTEA entitlement.

Changes for 2015/16 academic year

If you were getting a jobseeker’s payment or a One-Parent Family Payment you must re-establish your entitlement to a primary payment to continue to be entitled to BTEA for the second or subsequent years of study.

Student grants

The Student Grant Scheme is divided into 2 components – maintenance grants and fee grants. You cannot get the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and the maintenance component of a student grant together.

Although you are not entitled to the maintenance component of the student grant, you must still submit a student grant application form to be assessed for a fee grant to pay your Student Contribution (formerly called the student services charge), field trip costs and tuition fees (if payable).

If you are getting a One-Parent Family Payment (or Jobseeker’s Allowance Transitional payment) or a disability payment (Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension or Illness Benefit) you can choose to stay on your current social welfare payment (if you continue to meet the rules of the scheme) and apply for a student grant or you can choose to transfer to the BTEA, depending on which option benefits you most. In general, people who are studying full-time are not entitled to Rent Supplement unless they are getting BTEA.


Artice by
Chris Newell