FAQs

New Applicant Questions

The SEC grant is funded by the Department of Education. It is to assist Protestant families in funding their child’s attendance at Protestant Secondary School as a day student or boarding. The SEC grant can only be allocated if applicants meet every eligibility criteria. The SEC conducts a means test on a families’ household income.

Check that you are eligible for the grant.

Use the means test calculator to predict approximately how much grant you might be allocated.

Required to complete the 3 steps application process.

Step 1. Completing Registration Form
Step 2. Completing the Application Form
Step 3. Uploading your supporting documents

 

How to apply?

Video How to open and complete Registration Form

Video How to open and complete Application Form

Video How to open and complete Document Submission

Check the list of SEC recognised Protestant Denominations.

If you do not see your church on the list, don’t worry, you can assist the SEC by sending an email to info@secgrant.ie, tell us your church’s name and address, if they have a website include that too.

Your church can apply to be recognised by the SEC.

Go to this page to see the list of secondary schools that participate in the SEC Grant scheme.

You, the parent/guardian, should fill in the form with your information.

On the registration form you will be asked to enter all of your dependent children under the age of 24 including the child/ren for whom you are applying to the grant

Your personal information – so we can contact you, assess your distance from the school if you are applying for a boarding grant

 

Assets

Recent bank balances – figures over €80,000 will be added to your after-tax income

Other liquid assets – figures over €80,000 will be added to your after-tax income

Assistance from family/friends –this helps us understand how you manage your household finances

 

Family

Your spouse/partner/co habitant’s occupation and employment status – all household income is assessed in the means test

All of your dependent children under 24 – so that the Dependant Child Allowance can be calculated correctly (if this is filled incorrectly you may receive a lower grant in error) and deducted from your after-tax income

 

Income

Your occupation and employment status – so we can advise you which documents you will need to submit

 

Property

Mortgage/rent payments – this annual outgoing will be deducted from your after-tax income

Other Property Assets – this is property other than your family home or business/farm. You need to include a valuation (Local Property Tax or local valuation eg zoopla for UK, Property Price Register details etc) and a recent mortgage balance statement if applicable so that the value of the property is not over estimated

General Questions

Yes. You now complete all steps of the application online using either your computer or mobile phone/tablet. This year you will need to upload your documents using your computer instead of posting them to us.

We have listened to applicant feedback and have designed a completely online process to help applicants complete their application quickly, easily, securely and with less stress. This will result in you spending less time completing the application and receiving your grant notification earlier than in previous years.

For the 2022/23 school year, the assessable year is 2020.

The 2021/22 grant process has closed.

If your family has recently experienced very exceptional circumstances please email info@secgrant.ie

Yes, you must complete the three steps of the application process every year, even if you received a grant for the previous school year.

The SEC only operates the Protestant Block Grant, which allocates grants for tuition fees (day pupils) or boarding fees for Secondary School students only.

Your school bursar will have details of other school grants, bursaries or scholarships available.

You could ask your clergyperson/pastor/minister if there are any church grants or funds available.

If you are still having difficulties, please send a screenshot of your screen to support@secgrant.ie with a detailed explanation of your problem.

Click here to see how to send a screenshot on your Mac, Windows PC, iPhone, and Android.

1. Registration Form Questions

View RegistrationFormExample

Online ONLY application process. Request the Registration Form link from the school or if you applied for the grant last year the SEC will email you a Registration Form link once the process is open.

What is my Security code and Reference Number?

You will be sent an SMS with your security code to the mobile you registered with us.

If you applied to the SEC grant in a previous year you will have been assigned a Reference number. It is an eight-digit ID number in this format 100xxxxx that helps the SEC identify you in our files. (You should try to have it to hand when you call us or send us an email). Your Reference Number will be the same every year. You will find it on last year’s application form or in the subject line of emails we have sent to you.

 

What does Dependent Child mean?

We allocate an allowance for each of your children that you are rearing. It is very important that you include all your dependent children on the Registration Form so we can give you the right allowance. If you do not enter all your dependent children you may receive a smaller grant allocation.

For the SEC grant, a dependent child means your child, including a foster child, who on 31 December 2021 is:

  • Under the age of 18
  • Over 18 but under 24 and in full time secondary, further or higher education
  • Aged over 18, residing with you, and certified as unable to work due to a physical or medical condition

 

Who should I include in the name section?

The means test is based on your total household income. You should include your first and last name and your spouse/partner/cohabitant’s name.

If the second parent of the child for whom you are applying is not your current spouse/partner/cohabitant, you do not need to include their details. Instead, you can explain on your application form any relevant details, such as maintenance you might receive from them.

2. Application Form Questions

View ApplicationFormExample

Online ONLY application process. The Form link will be sent approx seven days after your Registration Form submission.

These are the children for whom you are applying for a grant. We have a record of all of your dependent children from your Registration form. In this section, we only need to know the religious denomination of the children you are applying for as this is one of the eligibility criteria for the grant. Enter the child’s religion in this section.

Find the List of SEC Approved churches here

If you think you may have entered your children incorrectly on the registration form please email support@secgrant.ie immediately and we will email you an amended application form with all the children you are applying for a grant on it

Civil Status

Enter current civil status.

I live in Ireland with my children but my husband/wife lives abroad. What do I enter for my marital status? You must enter Married – Geographical separation is not a civil status.

If you select single, living alone, recently separated, legally separated, divorced or widowed you can select Not Applicable for Parent 2.

Denomination

Please insert your own denomination by selecting from the drop-down options or typing in the name of your church or no religion.

What is Employment status?

Select your employment status in the assessable year. If you have had a change in employment status since the assessable year or expect a change of employment status in the near future e.g. redundancy please let us know in Section G

Employer name

Enter the name of your employer here and if you are self-employed simply type in “self” or the trade name you use.

Company Director

If you are a company Director and you own 25% or more of the shares in the company either on your own or jointly with your spouse/partner you will need to send in the most recent full set of financial statements (balance sheet, profit, and loss account, and notes) with your documents

What period do I include for the questions in this section?

Calendar year 2020.

 

Your Family Income Details

What does each option mean?

Single PAYE for a single income

You are employed by someone else, receive a Statement of Liability and Employment Detail Summary from Revenue. You are single and live alone.

Single self-assessment for a single income

You are self-employed or a PAYE worker with some income earned through self employment e.g. income from renting a property, you receive a Form 11 from Revenue. You are single and live alone.

Joint Assessed PAYE

You and your spouse/partner/co-habitant are employed by someone else and receive a joint Statement of Liability, you each have separate Employment Details Summaries.

Joint self-assessed

You AND/OR your spouse/partner/cohabitant are self employed (one of you can be a PAYE worker), you receive a joint Form 11 from Revenue. You will need to upload the PAYE workers Employment Detail Summary during Document Submission so we can allow your employee PRSI

Individually assessed PAYE

You and your partner are employed by someone else and each receive a separate Statement of Liability from Revenue (and Employment Detail Summaries).

Individually self-assessed

You and your partner are both self employed and each receive a separate Form 11 from Revenue

Singly Assessed PAYE and single self-assessed

You or your spouse/partner/cohabitant is employed by someone else and one of you is self employed. You will upload one Form 11 and on Statement of Liability (and Employment Detail Summaries) when you complete Document Submission

Social Welfare only

You and/or your spouse/partner/co habitant were in receipt of social welfare only in the assessable year. You will upload two Social Welfare Statements for the assessable year during Document Submission. If you are single and living alone, you will upload one for yourself only.

 

Where do I get my income information? 

You get this information from the Revenue Commissioners. If you are a PAYE employee, you will request a 2020 Statement of Liability from the Revenue website (this document replaces the P21). Instead of a P60 or P45 for each of your employments you will request 2020 Employment Detail Summary directly from Revenue and this will list all your employments in 2020.

If you or your partner are a PAYE employee with rental income or self employed you will have a Form 11 Return Summary from Revenue which you can get from Revenue website or your accountant.

Find out how to request your Statement of Liability here

Find out how to request your Employment summary/summaries here

Note: be sure to download the pdf versions of your 2020 PAYE/USC Statement of Liabilities and 2020 Employment detail summaries. If you print/screenshot from the browser it does not have all the relevant information for you to fill in the application form.

I am a PAYE employee and my partner is self-assessed tax so we are individually assessed. What do I select from the drop-down boxes

Singly Assessed PAYE and single self-assessed

Even if you are self-assessed and your partner is PAYE you select the option above from the drop-down options.

My partner and I are jointly assessed for tax under the PAYE system. Where do I find the numbers to insert in the boxes?

You will need to refer to your Statement of Liability for the tax year ended 31 December 2020 and take the figures for income, PAYE tax, and USC, shown below

For employee PRSI contributions you will need to refer to your Employment Detail Summary for the year ended 31 December 2020 shown below

My partner and I are jointly self-assessed where do we get the figures to put in on the application at Section C?

You will need to refer to the Calculation section of your Form 11 Summary and take the figures from it. See the examples below:

If your household’s income was from the Department of Social Protection only in 2020

Select Social Welfare only and scroll down to the Social Welfare payments section.

You will need to request a Social Welfare Statement for 2020 from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

http://services.mywelfare.ie/en/topics/statements-and-refunds/payment-statement/

or

https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/secure/OnlineStatementRequest.aspx

 

Your Other Sources of Income

We rely on support from family and friends to cover some of our living costs. How do we tell you about this?

You must disclose all sources of financial support to you, even if this is just a small sum to help with occasional costs. The means test process is very comprehensive and if we discover that you have not fully disclosed your means, we will not process your application and no grant will be provided. If you receive any support from family and friends you must include this in your other sources of income and select Assistance from family/friends.

I receive maintenance from my child’s other parent. How do I tell you about this?

If you or your child receive maintenance or financial support from the other parent of your child enter the total amount received in 2020 in your other source of income and select Maintenance/Financial support from the dropdown list.

I have no or almost no income

To complete a means test we need to be satisfied that we understand how you manage to pay your bills and expenses, and maintain your standard of living. If we are not satisfied, we reserve the right not to process your application. If you have no income, or a very low income, you must be prepared to explain and demonstrate with appropriate documents, how you manage your household finances.

Enter your family home in this section. Enter the monthly rent or mortgage payments you paid in 2020

Enter your business premises if they are owned by you or your farm on the second line. If your farm has multiple Eircodes/multiple addresses enter the largest acreage’s Eircode/Townland here and enter the total value of all land in current value etc.

If you are still unsure what to enter in Section D and E, please email us a description of your situation to support@secgrant.ie and we will advise you.

 

We live in a house that is provided as part of my employment and we also have a house that we rent out that we intend to move into on our retirement. How do I enter these details on the application?

Firstly in Section D go to the first line of boxes headed and select ‘Provided rent-free’ from the drop down list.

Then in Section E enter the details of the house you own but don’t live in and is rented out. If it is not rented out insert €0.00 in the rental income box.

 

We inherited my wife’s parents’ farm 15 years ago and we bought additional land 10 years ago to improve its viability and we still owe money to the bank for this extra land. How do we enter this on the application?

In Section D under the heading enter the option “owned by us with a mortgage” and complete the details as requested showing the full estimated current value of the entire farm and the current balance of the loan outstanding.

 

We used to live in England and when we returned to Ireland we decided to keep the house we owned in England and we are renting it out to supplement our income from employment. Do we enter this into the property asset section of section E?

Yes. Type in “House” for the asset type box and convert the Sterling £ values and rental income into euro € using an accurate currency conversion

This section is for you to tell us about properties you own or partially own, other than your family home, farm or business premises.

Enter the current value of each property and the current loan balance of each property. Do not include land that you currently farm yourself in this section, that belongs in Section D

You must include all property that you own overseas. If you do not fully declare your assets, your application will be discontinued and no grant will be awarded.

 

I have additional properties other than my home/business, what do I need to provide?

If your property is in Ireland, provide your Local Property Tax certificate showing the value eg €0-€100,000.

An auctioneer, estate agent, or surveyor’s recent valuation is also accepted.

Learn how to access your LPT tax summary here

If your property is overseas eg the UK a value estimate from a website like Zoopla will be accepted.

Learn how to show us your UK properties valuation here

Every family has a unique set of circumstances and this section is your opportunity to let us know if your family has had an exceptional change of circumstances since 2020. This may be redundancy, death of your partner/child, sudden illness or perhaps information about your bank transactions, living situation etc.

It is assumed that all tax relief available has been claimed ie Health Expenses Credit and we will look for this figure on your Statement of Liability if you are a PAYE employee or on your Form 11/Notice of Assessment if you are self-employed.

Please do not send us receipts.

We only take the figure on your Revenue documents and give an additional allowance for the portion not covered by the tax relief.

Example:

Statement of Liability shows Health Expenses Credit of €253.

Total value of health expenses is €253 x 5 = €1265.

As Revenue has given a credit for 1/5 of the expenses, the SEC will give credit for the remaining 4/5, so the health expense allowance is €1265 – €253 = €1012

 

What do I need to include with my documents to get my medical costs included?

The following are examples of Special Circumstances that could be included on your application if they apply to you.

Special Circumstances are considered on a case by case basis and a clear cover letter with an outline of the costs to you in 2020 only would be helpful.

It is assumed that all available tax relief will be claimed by you.

 

I paid for a Professional Home Carer to attend to my elderly relative in their home

Provide a cover letter outlining the proportion of the cost to you.

Provide a social welfare statement if you receive any social welfare in relation to the care of your elderly relative.

Example:

You pay 25% of your relative’s home care bill of €40,000 per annum. You pay tax at a higher rate. Respite grant of €1700 is received.

Bill €40,000 – €1700 =  €38,000

Your expense is €38,300 x 25% = €9575

Your tax relief is €9575 x 40% = €3830

Maximum Special Circumstances allowance in this example: €5745

 

I pay for my parents’ long term nursing home costs

The Fair Deal Scheme is available to all people who require long-term nursing home care.

If you paid for costs before your relative’s fair deal scheme was finalised please outline this in a letter listing costs in 2020 and the date that the Fair Deal Scheme was finalised.

Provide bill, receipt, and bank statement highlighting the payment in 2020.

Provide a copy of the communication from Fair Deal Scheme confirming your application.

 

My partner/child has a long term illness

Provide Tax claim form for the medical costs you have claimed relief on from Revenue eg form 11, form 12, Med 2.

If you have additional costs not provided by other schemes, provide a cover letter outlining costs to you in 2020 associated with the long term illness e.g. specialised equipment, adaption of your house, cost of getting to appointments/hospital, overnight stays etc.

 

My child has Dyslexia and in 2020 received a psychological assessment and attends special classes in addition to school

The SEC does not generally give allowances for Dyslexia unless costs were deemed necessary by a psychologist.

My child has Dyspraxia or DCD

Provide a cover letter listing costs of supports and/or classes your child attends in relation to their Dyspraxia.

Provide documentary evidence showing a professional recommendation for your child to attend certain classes/activities due to dyspraxia

An example of support: occupational therapy, physiotherapy, exercise programmes, counselling for child or parents, psychotherapy, drama therapy, speech, and language therapy

My child has an autism diagnosis and this incurs non-medical costs

Please provide a cover note setting out the costs incurred in 2020 and they will be considered on a case by case basis.

 

Please contact info@secgrant.ie or 01 551 4693 if you wish to discuss your circumstances or are unsure which documents to provide

3. Document Submission Questions

Online ONLY Document Submission. The Form link will be sent approx seven days after your Application Form submission.

We have designed a quick and easy system for you to submit your documents with your computer.

Do not post any documents.

If you require assistance learning how to use the new system look here document submission video