Benefit Verification

What does Socially Disadvantaged circumstances mean when applying for a funded Pre-School place?

Legislation requires pre-school providers to give priority to children in their final pre-school year (target age) who are from socially disadvantaged circumstances.

The Department of Education has defined socially disadvantaged circumstances as applying to a child whose parent is in receipt of any of the following benefits:- 

  • (i) Income Support;
  • (ii) Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance;
  • (iii) An award of Income Support which has been converted into an Employment and Support Allowance and the level of benefit remains the same; or
  • (iv) Universal Credit.

If you are in receipt of any of these benefits you must provide verification.

When can I apply for a pre-school place?

Stage 2 of the pre-school admissions procedure closed on 8 June 2020.  A list of funded places available is available at  If you have still to make application you can find information on our website under Applying for a Pre-School/School Place.  

How can I get my benefit verified if I am claiming socially disadvantaged circumstances?

The Department for Communities (DfC) and the Department of Education (DE) have put in place arrangements for verifying your benefit during the unprecedented COVID-19 situation.

For claimants in receipt of one of the benefits as listed above i.e. (i), (ii) or (iii), the Education Authority (EA) as part of the verification process will share an applicant’s name, National Insurance number and the benefit they are receiving with DE and DfC. An online Benefit Verification form is available below for you to complete where your benefit is as listed at (i), (ii) or (iii).

For claimants in receipt of Universal Credit, as this is an online benefit you can log into your Universal Credit account to view and print off a statement from your account which can be provided as verification of benefit.  If you send your statement securely by post to Pre-School Admissions, 1 Hospital Road Omagh, BT79 0AW or email  When received we will forward to your pre-school provider of 1st preference. 

Receipt of Benefit Verification can be received by 4.00pm on 15 June 2020.  If submitted after this date it will be sent to the pre-school provider for their consideration.

Last updated: 08/06/2020