Students set to receive double Susi payment in December as colleges start processing €1,000 refunds

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Third tier students will receive their additional scholarship payment to help cover the rising cost of living on December 16, a week before Christmas.

Nearly 50,000 Susi Bursary students are in line for the additional funding.

The payment varies according to the level of scholarship awarded and, for the most financially disadvantaged students, this will mean an additional €679.

For those with the lowest level of scholarship, this will amount to an additional €56.11, while most students will receive approximately an additional €150 to €350.

Further and Further Education Minister Simon Harris has also announced that third tier colleges will start contacting students this week about refunds stemming from the €1,000 reduction in fees this year.

The confirmation of one-time cost-of-living mitigation provisions for students comes as the first lump sum payments for welfare recipients – announced in the budget – begin to roll out.

About 1.4 million people are due to receive a double fall welfare payment this week.

Additional payments totaling 316 million euros will be paid by the close of business on Friday.

Beneficiaries include pensioners, people with disabilities, carers and single parents.

The €1,000 refund to third-tier students will apply to those who have already paid the full €3,000 annual student contribution – and is an additional measure to ease inflationary pressures.

Mr Harris said third-tier colleges would start contacting eligible students this week and sourcing the account details needed to process a refund.

Students will be asked to provide their account details by November 30, and if they fail to do so, the college may apply a credit to the student’s account against unpaid or future fees due.

Students eligible for a 50% student contribution scholarship paid by Susi will receive a credit of €500 (from €1,500 to €1,000) of the value of the contribution they must pay.

“If you haven’t paid your fees, they will be removed from your bill and if you have, your college will contact you to make sure you get your money back,” Harris said.

The fee reduction applies only to full-time undergraduate students eligible for the government’s ‘free fees’ scheme in the 2022/23 academic year.

For private college students, the discount will only apply to students taking approved “free” courses where the student is eligible for “free fees”.

While the additional grant payment and fee reduction are one-time measures, a permanent grant increase of between 10% and 14% will be implemented in January.

Meanwhile, additional social benefits this week are to be followed by new aid next month.

These will include a €400 lump sum payment for Fuel Allowance recipients and a €200 lump sum payment for Living Alone Allowance recipients.

There will also be a double payment of child benefit in November.

As well as a payment of €500 for recipients of the Carer’s Support Grant and a payment of €500 for recipients of the Disability Allowance.

A major expansion of the Fuel Allowance Scheme is also making it possible to support up to 81,000 new households with their fuel costs for the first time.

Social Care Minister Heather Humphreys also said permanent general welfare increases of €12 a week would take effect from January.

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Elaine R. Knight