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Maintenance Grant advice needed watch

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    Hi there,

    I am an EU 3-rd year student and I am employed part-time since September 2007.

    I have applied for the Maintenance Grant and, after waiting for nearly 8 months, have received a notice that my application was not approved. The reason for that, as they say, is that i DO MEET the Community definition of worker, therefore they say I am not eligible for maintenance support.

    To me this does not make any sense at all. To my mind, if I meet the status, I should have been approved.

    Thus, I am about to appeal, however, would be very grateful if someone could advise me on this ground.

    Thanks very much for your time.
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    (Original post by Dzimka)
    Hi there,

    I am an EU 3-rd year student and I am employed part-time since September 2007.

    I have applied for the Maintenance Grant and, after waiting for nearly 8 months, have received a notice that my application was not approved. The reason for that, as they say, is that i DO MEET the Community definition of worker, therefore they say I am not eligible for maintenance support.

    To me this does not make any sense at all. To my mind, if I meet the status, I should have been approved.

    Thus, I am about to appeal, however, would be very grateful if someone could advise me on this ground.

    Thanks very much for your time.
    Sounds like a typing error on the letter and they meant to put 'do NOT meet the community definition of a worker'

    The new migrant worker unit (MWU) are enforcing the regulations on migrant workers more strictly than the local authorities were.

    Local authorities were approving funding for students who had previously proved migrant worker status in their first or second years of study and were still in some form of employment when reapplying the following year.

    However, the MWU are taking a stricter line in their interpretation of 'migrant worker' and have their own guidelines now involving the number of hours worked.

    Most students (EU and UK) have to do some part time work in order to supplement their income from loans and grants. If this work is so little as to be defined as 'marginal and ancillary' then you will not automatically be granted migrant worker status with regards to student finance.

    This is just information for you on what has happened: I am afraid I cannot help you appeal and so the only advice I can give is to increase your hours at work and get as much evidence as you can (recent payslips and a letter from your employer(s) confirming your contracted hours have increased) and you will stand a much better chance of meeting the definition of a migrant worker.
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    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    I am aware of all the changes that have been made since August 2009.
    However, my point is, that I have submitted my application on the 1-st of May 2009, which qualifies me for 2008-2009 period. I was told that it will take them no more than 2 weeks to proccess it.

    But what really happened was this - they kept me waiting for 5 months, then the Local Authority said applications are now dealt with in Darlington, so they are waiting for instructions. Then it took them another 4 months to send those application to Darlington.

    As you can see, I do not fall under these new regulations and new rules. I have submitted my application on the 1-st of May 2009, where there were old rules and agreements. I have signed for old rules and agreements and NOT for the new ones, which they now are trying to apply to me. For this reason, I think I have a right to appeal. After keeping me waiting for nearly 9 months and trying to assess me under new rules, for which I havent signed - I think this is a breach of contract.

    Furthermore, what about working hours. I used to work approx 19 hours a week last year, however I do only 10 this year. But (!), I have applied for 2008-2009 grant and submitted my payslips from last year and now they have asked for my recent 3 months payslips.

    Sorry for such a long discussion, I hope you understand my point of view. And thanks a lot for your attention and time, I really appreciate that.
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    (Original post by Dzimka)
    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    I am aware of all the changes that have been made since August 2009.
    However, my point is, that I have submitted my application on the 1-st of May 2009, which qualifies me for 2008-2009 period. I was told that it will take them no more than 2 weeks to proccess it.

    But what really happened was this - they kept me waiting for 5 months, then the Local Authority said applications are now dealt with in Darlington, so they are waiting for instructions. Then it took them another 4 months to send those application to Darlington.

    As you can see, I do not fall under these new regulations and new rules. I have submitted my application on the 1-st of May 2009, where there were old rules and agreements. I have signed for old rules and agreements and NOT for the new ones, which they now are trying to apply to me. For this reason, I think I have a right to appeal. After keeping me waiting for nearly 9 months and trying to assess me under new rules, for which I havent signed - I think this is a breach of contract.

    Furthermore, what about working hours. I used to work approx 19 hours a week last year, however I do only 10 this year. But (!), I have applied for 2008-2009 grant and submitted my payslips from last year and now they have asked for my recent 3 months payslips.

    Sorry for such a long discussion, I hope you understand my point of view. And thanks a lot for your attention and time, I really appreciate that.
    I understand your point of view. I work for a local authority and have had to transfer a number of migrant worker cases to the MWU in the last 5 months.

    The thing is, there are no new rules. It is just that local authorities would often interpret the rules as 'any work is OK' whereas the MWU are now using EU case law to interpret what 'migrant worker' means.

    I am not saying whether this is right or wrong. My personal opinion is that local authorities were too soft but that the MWU have now gone too far in the other direction.

    However, I will agree that the treatment of migrant worker student applications has been handled very badly and I am very unhappy about it all.

    Early last year local authorities were told by BIS (the Department for Business Innovation and Skills who write the student support regulations) to stop processing any applications from migrant workers and await further instructions from the government and we were not given any clue as to why.

    Then finally in August BIS announced the creation of the new MWU and the transfer of all 2009/10 migrant worker applications from local authorities to the newly set up MWU with immediate effect.

    This left a large number of students in limbo during last summer only to be told recently 'sorry, you can't actually have any money this year'

    The worst case I have heard of so far is one migrant worker student who is currently studying in the Far East as part of his course and has no money whatsoever as his application to the LA was deleted. he now has no idea if he will be awarded any funding or when it may arrive. He has had to get his solicitor involved and everything. I cannot imagine that his year abroad studying is going very well for him at the moment.

    Personally, I think the 2009/10 should have been left alone and migrant worker students informed that their 2010/11 applications would be handled by the MWU.

    I also think that the migrant worker rules should have been explained to students at the start of their course so that they had a clear idea of how to keep that status (i.e. the number of hours and type of work expected of them).
 
 
 
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