deferring the course caused by medical or personal circumstancesWatch
I have send a letter to SFE over two months ago explaining my situation and updating details that needed to be updated. Eight days later I received email to contact SFE. There was no answer waiting for me, only the information the letter was received and will be looked into and my details will be updated soon. Then after receiving a general letter from SFE around the same time I called again to SFE and I was told that they did not receive my letter. My details are not updated until now as well.
I am very stressed awaiting your answer as it can seriously affect my life and after making a deferral for medical/personal reasons (and now withdrawed from the course) stress is the last thing I need in my recovery. Let me explain the situation then.
Before I deferred the course in April 2013 for medical/personal reasons I called SFE to find about about the finances (I took fee loan, maintenance loan and was given maintenance grant which was all paid to me already apart from the fee loan as I withdraw before its deadline). I was told (and the advisor made sure by consulting the answer with the second advisor) I will not have to repay anything immediatly if my deferral was caused by medical/personal circumstances, as this was my worry. After hearing that informtion I could decide for deferral which was a helpful solution for me. I have send a letter with the requested medical certificates and letters and did not hear anything back, making me think all is fine and I did everything that needed to be done.
In September 2013 I was considering withdrawing from the course but again - I called SFE to find out if there will not be any consequences such as immediate repayment which would be hard for me to afford. The advisor I spoked with said I should only be give extra 60 days of financial help after withdrawing and that my case will need to be looked into by special board (that would be end of the term I believe). Again, I send a letter explaining my situation and other attachments such as a letter from the Univeristy as requested (together with updated details) and I did not heard back since apart form email and those two phone calls, the second one giving me completely opposite answer to the first one.
Can you please advise me which information that I was given was correct? I am very stressed since September 2013 as it will be extremely hard for me if I would have to make an immediate repayment. It seems I was given the wrong information (that could negatively affect my decisions) and I would like to know the correct version as it seems the only person of taking consequences of something that seems someone's mistake is me - and this is not what you need when you deferr for medical/personal cisrumstances.
I have moved out from UK in December 2013 and it very expensive for me to call from abroad to 0845 numbers (if even possible form abroad).
Awaiting your response.
We do not normally fund a student beyond their last date of attendance.
However, the Student Support Regulations do allow for discretion to continue paying support if you have suspended due to exceptional circumstances. E.g. if you are unable to work or claim benefits after leaving your course. Or if you have suspended your course due to medical reasons or pregnancy.
In these instances you must provide evidence of your medical condition/pregnancy for consideration. Until evidence is received we will treat you as a normal suspended student and not award any additional funding.