“Catch-up” skill points are a means to keep your character at a reasonable skill level even if you take a break or haven’t played that character for a while. They are distributed automatically at the same time your character receives their allowance or salary. This means that if you are a student and select taking the “lump sum” of your allowance money, you will receive all of your allowance money (but not skill points) for the year at once and no longer receive catch-up points until the end of the year. Allowance is distributed no less than 7 days from the last distribution, so you may not always receive it on the same day.
Students and professors are guaranteed to earn 350 points per year, and adults are guaranteed 30 points per year. When your character receives their allowance, a calculation is done to see how many points they have total, and compared with either 350 or 30 x the percentage of the way through the year. If the total number of points is lower, the character will receive the difference, and if not then no points are distributed. If you earn points through going to class or doing homework, or from your job if you are an adult, then you may already have more points than the guaranteed amount.
In the above example, we’re 60% of the way through the year and each character should have received at least 210 points. The character has already earned more than the guaranteed number of points however, so no points will be distributed.
In this second example, only 200 points have been earned by this character, so they would receive 10 points to bring them up to the minimum for that point for the year.