Maintenance Grants – Long-term welfare recipients

Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will recognise long term recipients of supplementary welfare as a long term social welfare payment when assessing income for the special rate of maintenance grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41435/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): The report of the Action Group on Access to Third Level Education made detailed recommendations concerning the introduction of special rates of maintenance grants for disadvantaged students. The target group of ‘those most in need’ was defined in terms of the dependants of people receiving long-term welfare payments, where the necessary conditions are fulfilled. To qualify for the special rate of maintenance grant for the 2012/13 academic year, an applicant must qualify for the standard rate of maintenance grant. In addition, total reckonable income must not exceed €22,703 in the 2011 tax year. Finally, as at 31st December, 2011, the reckonable income must include one of the eligible long-term social welfare payments prescribed in the Student Grant Scheme. Supplementary Welfare is considered to be a short-term payment. Therefore, it is not included as an eligible payment for the purpose of qualifying for the special rates of grant.”

Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 2 October

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