Special Rate of Grant

Special Rate of Grant

Am I Eligible for the Special Rate of Grant?

There is a special rate of maintenance grant available for eligible students. To be eligible for this rate of grant:

  • You must be eligible for the ordinary rate of grant;
  • Your total reckonable household income must not exceed the special rate thresholds; and
  • On 31 December of the previous year to your application, the reckonable household income must include an eligible long-term Department of Social Protection payment as prescribed in the Student Grant Scheme for the relevant year or its equivalence from an EU Member State.

Eligible Long-Term Department of Social Protection Payments

  • Blind Pension
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance Transition
  • Deserted Wife’s Allowance
  • Disability Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (in respect of a period of 65 consecutive weeks of unemployment during which an applicant was in receipt of Jobseekers allowance)
  • State Pension (Non-Contributory)
  • Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory)
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance
  • Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partners (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance (where held for 12 consecutive calendar months)
  • Benefit Payment for 65 year olds
  • Carer’s Benefit
  • Deserted Wife’s Benefit
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Occupational Injuries Death Benefit (Orphan’s Pension)
  • Occupational Injuries Death Benefit (Pension for a Widow or Widower)
  • State Pension (Contributory)
  • Guardian’s Payment (Contributory)
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit when combined with other eligible payments adding up to 65 consecutive weeks as per below note Stacking of Eligible Long-Term Department of Social Protection Payments
  • Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partners (Contributory) Pension
  • State Pension (Transition)
  • Back to Education Allowance (Second Level and Third Level Options)
  • Back to Work Allowance (Employees)
  • Back to Work Enterprise Allowance
  • Community Employment Scheme
  • Rural Social Scheme
  • Tús Initiative
  • Gateway Scheme
  • Further Education and Training (FET) Courses, including apprenticeships
  • Part Time Job Incentive Scheme
  • Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
  • Foster Care and Aftercare Allowances or Adoption Maintenance Allowance where paid in respect of the applicant
  • Independent Living Allowance for Young People in Residential Care
  • Working Family Payment/Family Income Supplement (FIS)
  • In receipt of payments under the Fastrack to IT (FIT) initiative equivalent to a social welfare payment
  • Partial Capacity Benefit where the recipient has an underlying entitlement to Invalidity Payment
  • Participants on a training course approved by a Government Department, State Agency or Area Partnership and who were in receipt of an eligible payment prior to progressing to the programme
  • Grant aided employees in Community Services Programmes (formerly social economy enterprises)

Stacking of Eligible Long-Term Department of Social Protection Payments

  • It is possible to combine periods of Jobseeker’s Allowance and Jobseeker’s Benefit and other eligible payments for purposes of meeting the prescribed period of 65 consecutive weeks of unemployment during which an applicant was in receipt of either Jobseeker's Allowance or Jobseeker's Benefit. 
  • The Department of Social Protection’s Illness or Maternity Benefit, while not eligible payments in themselves, may be used to combine periods of Jobseekers Benefit and Jobseekers Allowance to make the prescribed 65 consecutive weeks required for the special rate, provided a period of Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance comes directly before and after the period of illness or maternity benefit.
  • Periods on JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme, can also be combined with periods on other listed eligible payments provided a period on an eligible payment comes directly before and directly after the period on JobBridge.
  • Child Dependent Allowance/Increase (CDA/CDI) may be deducted from a Department of Social Protection payment to bring reckonable income under the threshold for the special rate of grant, however it cannot be deducted from disregarded payments as this income has already been excluded from the reckonable income calculation.
  • Please note CDA/CDI cannot be used to bring the applicant into any other threshold other than the special rate thresholds.