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Financial help over summer - Unable to work Watch

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    Hi everyone,

    Just wondering if anyone knows of any financial help for students over summer?

    I'm expecting to be having some surgery either this summer or the one after (It's not something that needs to be done urgently, but it's something that does need doing at some point, so I'm trying to schedule it when it wont affect my studies), and after the surgery I would be unable to work for around 3 months. I'm wondering if anyone knows of any financial help students can get during the summer months, as as far as I'm aware, students cant claim any benefits.

    I'd be really grateful if anyone could offer any advice of people/places I could contact.

    Thanks,
    Sarah
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    Do you receive DLA? If you do, you can claim ESA.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    Do you receive DLA? If you do, you can claim ESA.
    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. I don't receive DLA and I don't think I would qualify for it, as my condition wouldn't be classed as a disability.

    Hopefully nobody I study with reads this because it could cause some awkwardness. I'm transsexual and the surgery I'll be getting is Sex Reassignment Surgery. If I didn't get the surgery then I wouldn't suffer any physical health problems because of it, but it's something I need to do to improve my mental health and be able to just get on with life.

    Thanks,
    Sarah
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    Firstly, good luck with your surgery.

    Does you university or institution allow students to apply for hardship grants or access to learning grants?

    It might be worth asking your uni's finance support department to see if they can offer any help.

    Again, best of luck!
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    (Original post by SarahD1987)
    [...] I'm expecting to be having some surgery either this summer or the one after (It's not something that needs to be done urgently, but it's something that does need doing at some point, so I'm trying to schedule it when it wont affect my studies), and after the surgery I would be unable to work for around 3 months. I'm wondering if anyone knows of any financial help students can get during the summer months, as as far as I'm aware, students cant claim any benefits. [...]
    From an institutional perspective, your student funding is supposed to last you throughout the year, not just the time you are at university. (This sounds and is unreasonable given the cost of living for most students, but the government will not provide more funding so you have to just accept this). The exception is your last year when you receive less funding and can claim unemployment benefits as soon as you graduate.

    Having said that, every university has an Access to Learning Fund. When allocating these funds in the summer term they do so mainly to allow students to remain in higher education. I would advise you to apply on the basis of disability or illness preventing you from working for x amount of time. This is perfectly reasonable. If you do this they will not assess your application on the basis of income (i.e. they do this to see whether your hardship is caused by your inability to budget properly). But you will have to provide medical evidence to say you are having the operation and you will unable to work for three months.

    The biggest problem I see is that your 'illness' is elective, but given its sensitive nature I imagine this might work in your favour so long as there is not a flood of applications at the same time.

    I have applied to the ALF twice in two different universities. For the second, I did not strictly meet their criteria but they applauded my willingness to try and solve my financial problems and made me an award anyway. They usually try to help you as much as they can.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    From an institutional perspective, your student funding is supposed to last you throughout the year, not just the time you are at university. (This sounds and is unreasonable given the cost of living for most students, but the government will not provide more funding so you have to just accept this). The exception is your last year when you receive less funding and can claim unemployment benefits as soon as you graduate.

    Having said that, every university has an Access to Learning Fund. When allocating these funds in the summer term they do so mainly to allow students to remain in higher education. I would advise you to apply on the basis of disability or illness preventing you from working for x amount of time. This is perfectly reasonable. If you do this they will not assess your application on the basis of income (i.e. they do this to see whether your hardship is caused by your inability to budget properly). But you will have to provide medical evidence to say you are having the operation and you will unable to work for three months.

    The biggest problem I see is that your 'illness' is elective, but given its sensitive nature I imagine this might work in your favour so long as there is not a flood of applications at the same time.

    I have applied to the ALF twice in two different universities. For the second, I did not strictly meet their criteria but they applauded my willingness to try and solve my financial problems and made me an award anyway. They usually try to help you as much as they can.
    Thanks for the info. I'll try the access to learning fund thing I guess.. And no idea how the £7000 or so I get is supposed to last a whole year! My rent and bills alone would cost almost that so unless I live on 10p noodles for a year I've got no idea how that's possible!

    Also, while Sex Reassignment Surgery is classed as elective surgery, if I don't get it done it'll have a big impact on my mental health. Also, while it may be different when studying, I know that when you're in employment it is unlawful (Under the Equality Act) for an employer to treat it any differently to any other sort of illness, so hopefully the university will give it the same consideration as they would for anything else.

    Thanks,
    Sarah
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    (Original post by SarahD1987)
    [...] Also, while Sex Reassignment Surgery is classed as elective surgery, if I don't get it done it'll have a big impact on my mental health. Also, while it may be different when studying, I know that when you're in employment it is unlawful (Under the Equality Act) for an employer to treat it any differently to any other sort of illness, so hopefully the university will give it the same consideration as they would for anything else. [...]
    My point about the elective nature of the operation was to do with the discretionary nature of the fund. They have limited funds to give to people in financial hardship, usually through no fault of their own. (For what it is worth, there is really no way you could prove they had discriminated against you to be honest). You would probably come below those sorts of people.

    This is why you have to pad out your situation and emphasise the mental health issues etc. in relation to university. For instance, say things like you have been waiting x amount of time for surgery, it cannot be rescheduled, and not to have financial stability while undergoing surgery would eliminate the mental health benefits of having the surgery in the first place and you might have to consider not coming back next year for financial reasons. If you had this support then you would be in a much better place mentally and your performance would improve and you would graduate with a better classification and find a job and take the world by storm etc., etc..
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    (Original post by SarahD1987)
    Also, while Sex Reassignment Surgery is classed as elective surgery, if I don't get it done it'll have a big impact on my mental health. Also, while it may be different when studying, I know that when you're in employment it is unlawful (Under the Equality Act) for an employer to treat it any differently to any other sort of illness, so hopefully the university will give it the same consideration as they would for anything else.
    Universities are also bound by the Equalities Act. Indeed, universities are generally very good at following the law on these things very closely compared to private sector employers.
 
 
 
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