The open university and ESA Watch

Rosey203
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I'm starting at the OU in February. I plan on doing 120 credits a year so will be working at a full time pace.

Now due to my disability I get DLA, so if I were attending your average brick uni I would be able to claim ESA due to automatically being classed as having limited capability for work due to being a student.

Does anybody know whether you can claim ESA under those conditions when studying at the OU? I have heard OU courses are always considered part-time regardless of the amount of credits you do. Does this mean I wouldn't be able to claim ESA as a student? I really don't think I'll manage my studies and a job, and I really don't want to go down the traditional route of applying for ESA as I've heard nightmare stories, and I'll really only be unable to work while studying. Am I screwed since I decided to study with the OU? I'm in such a panic because I'm so eager to do the course but I can't survive on my DLA money alone!
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Tiger Rag
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You would still be entitled to ESA, yes. Part time students can claim benefits. To claim ESA as a part time student, you don't need to claim DLA - that's only for full time students.
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balotelli12
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Surely only post grads can claim ESA?

Undergrads receive loans and grants.
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River85
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(Original post by balotelli12)
Surely only post grads can claim ESA?

Undergrads receive loans and grants.
No, undergraduates are entitled to claim ESA (and will be successful depending on their income) Postgraduates can also have funding. They can also apply for housing benefit.

Besides, I believe the OP is a part-time student, so not entitled to the full-time student finance.
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Tiger Rag
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(Original post by River85)

Besides, I believe the OP is a part-time student, so not entitled to the full-time student finance.
Yes. Regardless of how many credits OU students do, we're still classed as part time and are only entitled to a tuition fee loan.
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Rosey203
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Full-time students can get ESA if they claim DLA without having to pass the limited capability for work test. Since I'm classed as part-time, under the OU - I assume I'd have to claim it the normal way.

Has anyone here had any luck claiming ESA while studying part time? I'd also like to volunteer one day a week in a setting relevant to my degree but I'm worried that would work against me. I've heard so many horror stories of people being denied ESA. I really couldn't manage to work and study so it's either get ESA, not do the degree, or get no money. I'm also claiming JSA at the minute so I'd need to switch over from that, though I see a disabled adviser and am only expected to look for 16 hours work to claim the JSA. I'm just worried that I'll end up in a no mans land of not being able to get JSA or ESA if I rock the boat now though. =/
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Tiger Rag
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There have been a few threads recently on here about students and ESA. Might be worth looking through them?
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