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13.5.4 Special Assistance


13.5.4 Special Assistance

See paragraph 5.3 of the Instruments

Where the Commission considers that exceptional circumstances, beyond the control of the student, have hindered or will hinder a student’s progress, the Commission may approve payment of Special Assistance.

For "exceptional circumstances" to exist there must be external factors that impact on a student’s educational progress. Examples of  Special Assistance provided previously include:

an electronic wheelchair provided to a student to enable him or her to attend classes;

speech therapy classes;

one off assistance towards school fees for a homeless student.

Assistance towards the cost of computers is generally precluded, except in very exceptional circumstances such as in the case of students who have a disability which necessitates that they have a computer in order to undertake their studies.

Special Assistance should not be granted for the payment of school fees, unless "exceptional circumstances" exist, as this is provided for in the payment of education allowance.

Applications for this benefit should include full details of the circumstances necessitating a grant of Special Assistance. Such applications should be accompanied by supporting documentation.

If an application is declined, the applicant must be notified, in writing, of the reasons for the decision and informed of their right of review.

Effective from 1 January 2018, the maximum annual amount payable in relation to Special Assistance is $3,000.