BTEA (Back to Education Allowance)

BTEA (Back to Education Allowance)

The Back to Education Allowance scheme (BTEA) is an educational opportunities scheme for persons in receipt of certain social welfare payments wishing to pursue second or third level courses of education subject to meeting the qualifying conditions.

The objective is to raise educational and skills levels to enable them to better access to emerging labour market needs in line with the Government’s activation strategy set out in Pathways to Work.

The Back to Education Programme provides income support to DSP customers to undertake a range of education and training options with the aim of improving labour market opportunities.

Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) Provides certain categories of DSP customers with income support to complete a full-time course of study

Eligibility for recipients of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP): In advance of commencing a course of education or training, either part-time or full-time, a person in receipt of PUP will be required to establish an entitlement to a qualifying social welfare weekly payment, generally a Jobseeker’s (or Farm Assist) payment.  A person will be required to transfer from PUP to the relevant qualifying social welfare scheme to continue to receive income support while availing of education provision. PUP will not be payable while a person is attending a course of education either on a full-time or part-time basis.  The qualification period for BTEA is waived for a recipient of PUP who closes their PUP and transfers their payment to a Jobseekers payment. This means someone applying for 3rd level will be deemed to have satisfied the 9 month qualification period when they transfer from PUP.  Someone applying from PUP will not be permitted to resume their course of education, or repeat a year through the BTEA. The BTEA is only available to those commencing the first year of a new course.

Course Delivery as a result of Covid-19: Typically, blended learning and distance learning opportunities are not supported through the BTEA. In recognition of the difficulties faced by education providers for the 2020/21 academic year, full time courses which would have otherwise been delivered directly on site can be considered for approval with the support of BTEA. This provision only extends to full time courses impacted by the Covid pandemic.