Extra help - children and adult dependants (now closed)

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Student Money Week 2017
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You may be able to get extra help if you've got children, or an adult who depends on you financially. Join our expert to find out more.


SFE Advisor for this Q&A

Emma Gabriel, GFD Quality Assurance Assessor

Emma is one of SFE’s experienced Student Finance Assessors. She specialises in grants for students with children or adult dependants and social media.
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sarah_jayne
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Hi, I am a full time student in my 2nd year out of a 4 year degree. I am thinking of cutting down to part time as of Sept as the workload feels impossible with a family.. My husband is starting a full time 3 year degree in September and will cutting down his work to part time.
Are we likely to qualify for Childcare grant if one of us studies full time and the other studies part time?
Thanks
SJ
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PeterrJames
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Really need some help.

I'll just give a run down for the last 3-4 years i haven't lived at home, i was with living with my ex girlfriend for 3 years and my other ex girlfriend last year (by live with i mean both them and their mothers). I was in work sometimes and out of work others due to temp & 0 hour contracts in which period i claimed JSA.

My mother does not financially support me in anyway and she does not work as she has severe spinal problems consequently in receipt of ESA. We do not speak at all only if we literally have too.

In July my dad passed away and i split up with my ex girlfriend and i am currently living in his house with my brothers. I work a 32 hour week and have been in work since i moved into this property (August)

Now my problem is, i am trying to apply as a self supported student being as my parents have not provided for me for the last 3-4 years. The problem is to be classed as self supported you have to earn a threshold of £7500 per year over the 3 years of which i didn't. I rang Student Finance and they have asked me to get my benefit history from DWP and employment history from HRMC and attach a covering letter with these detailing the situation.

The lady on the phone said that they may not class me as a self supported student as i may not of earned over the threshold, in which case i would have to declare my mums household earnings (but i live in my deceased fathers house? so why would i need her household) which isn't fair on me because i dont get a penny of it or benefit from their household in anyway so why should it affect MY loan? My mum has re-married.

I am preparing an evidence pack which contains wage slips from my last job, my current wage slips and contract of employment, my monthly budget spreadsheet, a copy of my cv detailing where i have worked and studied, my university reference from my tutor which highlights that i had a troublesome life during studies and family problems, my benefit history from the DWP and my employment history from HMRC.

I've worked so hard for this and i have received an unconditional offer and paid my deposit on my accommodation.
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Mirabelle
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This is rather complex, but I will try and keep it brief.
I started a social work BA in October 2012.
All went well (I got two firsts and a 2:1 for my first year results) until I got to my second year.
I was sent to an unqualified, unsupervised and unprofessional practice educator during my second year placement. She was also a bully and a liar, whose previous and only other student had left her placement after a matter of days.
When I flagged up her behaviour to my university, they refused to take me seriously.
To cut a very long story short, I had to get a solicitor involved at a cost of over £5000 before my university offered me a new placement.
This process took six months and left me, in the words of my GP, showing "signs of psychological distress."
I also spent half of last year seeing a counsellor on a weekly basis.

I was given until September 30 to submit the coursework for my second year. Unfortunately, the leader of one of my modules also happened to be the placement manager who had ignored my concerns and who appears to have a personal vendetta against me.
So, despite my having Turnitin evidence to the contrary, she lied to my year leader and said I had submitted no work.
Therefore, my university took the decision that I would have to withdraw temporarily from my course, submit my outstanding coursework in May 2015 and not progress to year 3 until September 2015.

I am a single parent and because of my student status, I have no entitlement to any benefits other than child tax credit, child benefit and partial housing benefit.
My rent alone is £337, which is almost my entire income. The finance officer at my university contacted SFE in October 2014, requesting discretionary support for me whilst my studies are suspended. I also sent full details of my income, outgoings, and a supporting letter from my counsellor to SFE. I made several calls to SFE regarding the progress of my application and was continually asked whether I had sent in my evidence, which was rather worrying as I had sent in reams of evidence.

I finally heard from SFE just before Christmas and was told that as an external student, I had no entitlement to any support.
I then submitted an appeal explaining that it was my understanding that there is discretionary support available for students who have suspended their studies.
Yesterday, I was told that my stage one appeal had been rejected, as I am an external student and external students "do not qualifyas being absent from their course under Regulations 109(17) and 116(12) of the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 (as amended)"
In short, SFE do not consider my studies to be suspended, so I am entitled to nothing.

I am absolutely beside myself. I had the year from hell last year, this year has barely started and it seems to be continuing in the same vein.
If it wasn't for my overdraft, which will run out very soon, myself and my son wouldn't be able to eat.

I would welcome any advice, because as things stand at the moment and the debt I am in, I am going to have to seriously consider whether I will be able to afford to continue studying.
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Emma Gabriel
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(Original post by sarah_jayne)
Hi, I am a full time student in my 2nd year out of a 4 year degree. I am thinking of cutting down to part time as of Sept as the workload feels impossible with a family.. My husband is starting a full time 3 year degree in September and will cutting down his work to part time.
Are we likely to qualify for Childcare grant if one of us studies full time and the other studies part time?
Thanks
SJ
Hi Sarah_Jayne. Thank you for your enquiry. Yes - if one of you is studying Full Time and other is studying Part Time in the same academic year, then the student studying Full Time will be eligible to apply for both the Childcare Grant and Parental Learning Allowance.

I hope the above is of assistance to you.

Take care and best of luck

Emma x
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Emma Gabriel
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Did you know Student Finance has it’s own designated channel on You Tube? Why not take a look through some of our videos using the link below where you’ll find further information on applying for the Childcare Grant and the Parental Learning Allowance:
https://www.youtube.com/user/SFEFILM
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Emma Gabriel
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(Original post by Mirabelle)
This is rather complex, but I will try and keep it brief.
I started a social work BA in October 2012.
All went well (I got two firsts and a 2:1 for my first year results) until I got to my second year.
I was sent to an unqualified, unsupervised and unprofessional practice educator during my second year placement. She was also a bully and a liar, whose previous and only other student had left her placement after a matter of days.
When I flagged up her behaviour to my university, they refused to take me seriously.
To cut a very long story short, I had to get a solicitor involved at a cost of over £5000 before my university offered me a new placement.
This process took six months and left me, in the words of my GP, showing "signs of psychological distress."
I also spent half of last year seeing a counsellor on a weekly basis.

I was given until September 30 to submit the coursework for my second year. Unfortunately, the leader of one of my modules also happened to be the placement manager who had ignored my concerns and who appears to have a personal vendetta against me.
So, despite my having Turnitin evidence to the contrary, she lied to my year leader and said I had submitted no work.
Therefore, my university took the decision that I would have to withdraw temporarily from my course, submit my outstanding coursework in May 2015 and not progress to year 3 until September 2015.

I am a single parent and because of my student status, I have no entitlement to any benefits other than child tax credit, child benefit and partial housing benefit.
My rent alone is £337, which is almost my entire income. The finance officer at my university contacted SFE in October 2014, requesting discretionary support for me whilst my studies are suspended. I also sent full details of my income, outgoings, and a supporting letter from my counsellor to SFE. I made several calls to SFE regarding the progress of my application and was continually asked whether I had sent in my evidence, which was rather worrying as I had sent in reams of evidence.

I finally heard from SFE just before Christmas and was told that as an external student, I had no entitlement to any support.
I then submitted an appeal explaining that it was my understanding that there is discretionary support available for students who have suspended their studies.
Yesterday, I was told that my stage one appeal had been rejected, as I am an external student and external students "do not qualifyas being absent from their course under Regulations 109(17) and 116(12) of the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 (as amended)"
In short, SFE do not consider my studies to be suspended, so I am entitled to nothing.

I am absolutely beside myself. I had the year from hell last year, this year has barely started and it seems to be continuing in the same vein.
If it wasn't for my overdraft, which will run out very soon, myself and my son wouldn't be able to eat.

I would welcome any advice, because as things stand at the moment and the debt I am in, I am going to have to seriously consider whether I will be able to afford to continue studying.
Good Morning Mirabelle,

Thank you for your recent post. Please check your inbox.

Kind regards

Emma x
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Emma Gabriel
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(Original post by PeterrJames)
Really need some help.

I'll just give a run down for the last 3-4 years i haven't lived at home, i was with living with my ex girlfriend for 3 years and my other ex girlfriend last year (by live with i mean both them and their mothers). I was in work sometimes and out of work others due to temp & 0 hour contracts in which period i claimed JSA.

My mother does not financially support me in anyway and she does not work as she has severe spinal problems consequently in receipt of ESA. We do not speak at all only if we literally have too.

In July my dad passed away and i split up with my ex girlfriend and i am currently living in his house with my brothers. I work a 32 hour week and have been in work since i moved into this property (August)

Now my problem is, i am trying to apply as a self supported student being as my parents have not provided for me for the last 3-4 years. The problem is to be classed as self supported you have to earn a threshold of £7500 per year over the 3 years of which i didn't. I rang Student Finance and they have asked me to get my benefit history from DWP and employment history from HRMC and attach a covering letter with these detailing the situation.

The lady on the phone said that they may not class me as a self supported student as i may not of earned over the threshold, in which case i would have to declare my mums household earnings (but i live in my deceased fathers house? so why would i need her household) which isn't fair on me because i dont get a penny of it or benefit from their household in anyway so why should it affect MY loan? My mum has re-married.

I am preparing an evidence pack which contains wage slips from my last job, my current wage slips and contract of employment, my monthly budget spreadsheet, a copy of my cv detailing where i have worked and studied, my university reference from my tutor which highlights that i had a troublesome life during studies and family problems, my benefit history from the DWP and my employment history from HMRC.

I've worked so hard for this and i have received an unconditional offer and paid my deposit on my accommodation.
Hi Peter

Many thanks for your recent post. Unfortunately, I'm only able to answer questions regarding the Parental Learning Allowance, Adult Dependants Grant and Childcare Grant etc. However, could I suggest that you copy and repost your enquiry under the Student finance application - troubleshooting webchat where one of my colleagues will respond? Please be advised, the response may take a little longer but a colleague will respond to your enquiry at their earliest opportunity.

I hope the above will be of assistance.

Kind regards

Emma
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Emma Gabriel
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For more information on Student Finance Grants for Dependants (Parental Learning Allowance, Adult Dependants Grant and Childcare Grant) including a range of helpful tools and guidance, please visit: www.thestudentroom.co.uk/studentfinance
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Laura SFE
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Thanks for your questions.

Emma will be back to answer your questions on the extra help available if you've got children or adults who depend on you financially on Thursday at 12 and Friday at 10.

Don't worry if you can't make the live webchats, there are surgeries on Childcare Grant, Parents' Learning Allowance and Adult Dependants' Grant running all week.
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