to Education Programme
The Back to Education Programme allows you to return
to full-time education and keep your social welfare payments, such as Disability
Allowance, and associated secondary benefits for the duration of the course.
The Back to Education Programme covers both second and third level approved
courses. To qualify, you must be:
- aged 18 or over
- getting Disability Allowance for at least 6
- attending an approved full-time course at a
recognised school or college.
While on the Back to Education Allowance you can
have any other income without affecting your allowance, such as working part-time
or during holiday periods. A cost of education allowance (currently €254)
is payable at the start of the academic year.
For more information about the Back to Work Allowance,
please contact your local Social Welfare Office.
The VTOS scheme is operated through your local
Vocational Education Committee. Courses can last up to two years and lead to
qualifications such as Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate, Post Leaving
Certificate and City and Guilds Certificates. There is no fee payable for the
course and books and materials are provided free of charge.
To participate, you must be:
- Aged 21 or over
- Getting Disability Allowance, or another Social
Welfare payment, for at least 6 months.
As the VTOS is not means-tested, you can work without
affecting your payments. However, if you are getting a Rent or Mortgage Interest
Supplement, this will be affected by any additional income.
For further information on this scheme, and to
discover what courses are available in your area, you should contact your local
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