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    Do you have children or an adult who depends on you financially? Emma is here to answer questions on the extra help you could get.

    Emma is one of Student Finance England’s experienced Student Finance Assessors. She specialises in grants for students with children or adult dependants and social media.

    Unfortunately, Emma won't be available during the allocated slot 15:00-16:00, however she will still be answering your questions at different periods throughout the day. So feel free to continue to post your queries and we'll make sure they get answered.
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    Hi Emma,

    Please could I have some advice. I'm totally new to this. I'm starting a foundation degree in September. I have a 5 month old daughter and I'm a single mum. I'm currently staying with family and paying them rent. What loans / grants etc would I be able to apply for?

    Thank you
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    I feel like I'm facing an impossible task right now.
    I am a single parent, living miles from any family and I am on income support. I'm not entitled to any student finance or any bursaries of any kind. I have checked and this has been confirmed.
    I am doing a postgrad in social work. I've pretty much qualified but I have a 6 month placement to do before
    I qualify. But it's an hour and a half on public transport to get to my placement (the same time back). I have to pay childcare from 8-6. It's costing me £145 a week. I don't get home until 6:30pm and that's if all public transport is on time. I have to pay £6 a day for travel.



    I will have no money left over to pay basic bills.

    I will go home to looking after my son and looking after him at the weekend too.

    I'm a strong person but I don't see how this is feasible and I'm wondering if I am better just leaving the course. But if I do I might never get a job. I am getting £20 a week child maintenance which can pay some bills but I will be so poor to the point where I will have not enough for living costs.

    I have applied for an access to learning find but I worried I won't get anything. Does anyone know if it's likely I will get something? I am stressing out so badly as I already have childcare debt.

    Has anyone done similar? Any advice appreciated. I'm so stressed about this. I Have no close family to help me.
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    I'm exploring my finance options with regard to embarking on a part time degree. I run my own business and don't earn a lot at present as I have a young child. I need to do the degree part time so I can keep my business going and look after my child but I cant do the degree without a loan to pay for it.
    Any suggestions?Am I eligible for a loan to cover full cost of Degree?
    Many thanks
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    Im a full time student doing a degree just moved intonew home split from partner, i get maintenance loan, specialist support grant, i know specialist support grant not included as income but i need know what percentage of housing benefit will i get as they class child tax credits and maintenance loan as income, is anyone else mature student with children over 5 and get housing benefit i need reassurance i can continue as my rent is £500 month alone ,i have applied but our local housing office has a 12 week back log.
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    So I have a confirmed place at BU to study as an undergraduate starting this Sept, as I deferred from last year.

    I also am a lone parent and my child's under 1 years old. I know it's not the easiest option and there's OU and I can always go back to uni when she's older etc. But in my mind and after considering all options thoroughly I know this is what I should do.


    I know what I would get Student Finance-wise, with the tuition and maintenance loans and possibly the childcare and PLA. But would I get help with Housing Benefit and Child Benefit/Tax credits still as a student or would they 100% be stopped?

    Also I'll be 20 when I start in September.
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    Hi
    I'm a mature student with a dependant child, I have a disability which has meant for the last year i have been in receipt of disability benefits as i have been unable to work.
    How will my income be assessed for my maitenance loan etc?
    Kind regards
    Hannah
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    Hi

    I'm not sure if this is the right place, but I need some help with this.

    I'm a 1st year student, currently getting Tuition fee loan, special support grant, and Disabled students allowances. I think their is also my DLA but that goes to my mum, not sure about anything else.

    I've been a carer for my mum as long a it is possible, so some parts I am very used to. She comes to get me and I go home every weekend to help her. However, since mid December she's apparently not had money. I gave her £600 that she convinced me was 'hers' but by the time I am back at uni after Christmas she's got no money. Every week since then she's been going shopping with me on Saturday, so she can pay using my money.

    It's getting me so worried now, like my loan/grant does not last forever, and it's for me while studying not for her. I can't stop worrying about summer, like when I get no money for months, that we both won't eat for all that time. It's making me even more scared to buy anything I don't need, and I don't spend money anyway (note, I had more than £600 left in December.. how many students do?) I have no leisure activities yet, and now I'm not willing to pay to go to anything I find.

    I don't know if she's a adult dependant on me yet, it's only been a few months, and I have money for now so their might not be any money I can apply for. But I really want some advice. I can't talk to mum, my disability makes talking difficult and I'm too scared about this to ask her anything.
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    (Original post by Nicolajoanne)
    Hi Emma,

    Please could I have some advice. I'm totally new to this. I'm starting a foundation degree in September. I have a 5 month old daughter and I'm a single mum. I'm currently staying with family and paying them rent. What loans / grants etc would I be able to apply for?

    Thank you
    Good Morning Nicolajoanne
    Thanks for your post. As a new student, lone parent, starting your course in September, the support available would consist of a Tuition Fee Loan (paid directly to your University / College), Maintenance Loan, Parental Learning Allowance - up to £1573 and Childcare Grant - you can apply for up to 85% of your actual childcare costs - up to a maximum £155.24 a week for one child. Please note if you are claiming the childcare element of working tax credits from HMRC, you are unable to receive the childcare grant from Student Finance. Student Finance Englandwill provide up to 85% of childcare costs whereas HM Revenue andCustoms will provide up to 70%.
    Hope the above is of assistance
    Take care
    Emma
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    Hi,

    I'm currently claiming child tax credits, income support and housing benefit. Can you please tell me which benefits will be affected by the loans? I start uni in September. I know I will come off income support but I was told I can still claim it in the holidays, also been told that I can only get child tax OR the childcare grant? So confused.
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    (Original post by Cressandra)
    I feel like I'm facing an impossible task right now.
    I am a single parent, living miles from any family and I am on income support. I'm not entitled to any student finance or any bursaries of any kind. I have checked and this has been confirmed.
    I am doing a postgrad in social work. I've pretty much qualified but I have a 6 month placement to do before
    I qualify. But it's an hour and a half on public transport to get to my placement (the same time back). I have to pay childcare from 8-6. It's costing me £145 a week. I don't get home until 6:30pm and that's if all public transport is on time. I have to pay £6 a day for travel.



    I will have no money left over to pay basic bills.

    I will go home to looking after my son and looking after him at the weekend too.

    I'm a strong person but I don't see how this is feasible and I'm wondering if I am better just leaving the course. But if I do I might never get a job. I am getting £20 a week child maintenance which can pay some bills but I will be so poor to the point where I will have not enough for living costs.

    I have applied for an access to learning find but I worried I won't get anything. Does anyone know if it's likely I will get something? I am stressing out so badly as I already have childcare debt.

    Has anyone done similar? Any advice appreciated. I'm so stressed about this. I Have no close family to help me.
    Hello Cressandra
    Thank you for taking the time to your question.
    Unfortunately, Student Finance can only provide support to students who are commencing a "new" Postgraduate course from 1st August 2016.
    As the Access to Learning Fund is now the responsibility of your University / College, I am unable to advise whether they would be able to provide you with any form of assistance since this remains at their discretion.
    I would suggest you contact your University / College for an update on your application.
    I am so sorry that I am unable to offer you any further guidance, but sincerely wish you well.
    Emma x
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    (Original post by Annika-N)
    I'm exploring my finance options with regard to embarking on a part time degree. I run my own business and don't earn a lot at present as I have a young child. I need to do the degree part time so I can keep my business going and look after my child but I cant do the degree without a loan to pay for it.
    Any suggestions?Am I eligible for a loan to cover full cost of Degree?
    Many thanks
    Morning Annika
    Thank you for your enquiry.
    Please take a look at the following link which should answer your questions regarding part time study and the funding available from Student Finance.

    https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/parttime-students

    I hope the above helps
    Take care
    Emma
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    (Original post by caltay)
    Im a full time student doing a degree just moved intonew home split from partner, i get maintenance loan, specialist support grant, i know specialist support grant not included as income but i need know what percentage of housing benefit will i get as they class child tax credits and maintenance loan as income, is anyone else mature student with children over 5 and get housing benefit i need reassurance i can continue as my rent is £500 month alone ,i have applied but our local housing office has a 12 week back log.
    Hi Caltay
    Thanks for your post. Unfortunately, I am unable to comment on your enquiry regarding your Housing Benefit application since this dealt with directly by your local housing authority / Council.

    However as a returning student (Lone Parent) you would be eligible to apply for the following support from Student Finance:

    Tuition Fees
    Maintenance Loan
    Special Support Grant - up to £3387
    Parental Learning Allowance - up to £1523
    Childcare Grant - you can apply for up to 85% of your actual childcare costs, up to a maximum of £155.24 a week for one child, or up to £266.15 for two or more children.
    If you claim the childcare element of working tax credits from HMRC, you are unable to also claim the childcare grant from Student Finance. However,Student Finance Englandwill provide up to 85% of childcare costs whereas HM Revenue andCustoms will provide up to 70%.


    Would just like to add to the above that students can still receive their Child Tax Credits / Working Tax Credits if claiming the Childcare Grant from Student Finance. It is only the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits which students are unable to claim from HMRC

    Hope the above is of some assistance to you.
    Take care
    Emma
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    (Original post by sarahk13)
    So I have a confirmed place at BU to study as an undergraduate starting this Sept, as I deferred from last year.

    I also am a lone parent and my child's under 1 years old. I know it's not the easiest option and there's OU and I can always go back to uni when she's older etc. But in my mind and after considering all options thoroughly I know this is what I should do.

    I know what I would get Student Finance-wise, with the tuition and maintenance loans and possibly the childcare and PLA. But would I get help with Housing Benefit and Child Benefit/Tax credits still as a student or would they 100% be stopped?

    Also I'll be 20 when I start in September.
    Hi Sarahk
    Many thanks for your enquiry.
    OK, so as a New Student, Single Parent, you already know that the support available to you would be:

    Tuition Fees (paid directly to your University)
    Maintenance Loan
    Parental Learning Allowance - up to £1573
    Childcare Grant - you can apply for up to 85% of your actual childcare costs, up to maximum of £155.24 a week for one child, or up to £266.15 a week for one or more children.

    Some additional information which you may find helpful:
    * Your child benefit will remain in place so long as you have care of your child.
    * You would still be entitled to Child Tax Credits / Working Tax Credits and the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits. (The amount would remain the decison of HMRC)
    However, if you are receiving the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits from HMRC, you are unable to claim the Childcare Grant from Student Finance.
    Student Finance Englandwill provide up to 85% of childcare costs whereas HM Revenue andCustoms will provide up to 70%.

    Unfortunately, your claim for Housing Benefit would lie with your local Housing Authority / Council and I am unable to offer any guidance on this.

    I would strongly advise that you submit an application for Student Finance to ensure your support is in place prior to the start of your course. Once your application has been approved, you are under no obligation to take up the offer of student finance. If you decide you no longer require it, just let us know.

    Perhaps also have a chat with your local housing authority too and see what information they are able to provide you with?

    If you are a Student, Lone Parent and living alone in your property you could also be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax too.

    Hope the above helps

    Take care

    Emma
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    (Original post by Hmcpherson)
    Hi
    I'm a mature student with a dependant child, I have a disability which has meant for the last year i have been in receipt of disability benefits as i have been unable to work.
    How will my income be assessed for my maitenance loan etc?
    Kind regards
    Hannah
    Hi Hannah
    Thanks for your enquiry.
    If you will be a New Student (Lone Parent) in the 2016/17 academic year, the support available to you would be as follows:

    * Tuition Fee Loan (paid directly to your University / College)
    * Maintenance Loan
    * Adult Dependants Grant - up to £2757
    * Parental Learning Allowance - up to £1573
    * Childcare Grant - you can apply for up to 85% of your actual childcare costs, up to a maximum of £155.24 a week for one child, or up to £266.15 a week for one or more children.
    If you receive the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits from HMRC, you are unable to claim the childcare grant from student finance. However, Student Finance Englandwill provide up to 85% of childcare costs whereas HM Revenue andCustoms will provide up to 70%.

    We would not usually take a student's income into account when assessing the their Student Finance Application. However, we would take into account any unearned income which a student may have such as;
    * Bank or Building Society Gross Interest
    * Property Lettings or Rent
    * Dividends from investments/shares/unit trusts
    * Trusts or Sponsorships
    * Pensions
    * Any other payment received for attending the course (This does not include University Bursaries).

    Student Income that would NOT be taken into account
    * Any earnings from full or part-time work this can be vacation work or work during term time
    * Maintenance Loan or Grant payments
    * Child and Working Tax Credits
    * ISA’s
    * Payments received from parents under covenant
    * Maintenance payments received for children. (Maintenance payments should be included as part of the children’s income in the relevant section of the application form.
    * Teacher Training Bursaries
    * Care Leavers Bursary
    * Bounties paid by the armed services to reservists or disablement or invalidity pensions
    * Money from selling property or online sales websites (such as EBay)
    Please note this list is NOT exhaustive.

    If you will be a Returning student in the 2016/17 academic year, you will remain eligible for your current package of support eg Tuition Fees, Maintenance Loan, Maintenance Grant / Special Support Grant, Parental Learning Allowance, Adult Dependants Grant and Childcare Grant.

    If you are over 25 and living with a partner / married, we would use their income from the relevant tax year to assess/ support your application for student finance.

    Are you aware that you may also be eligible to apply for the Disabled Student's Allowances? Please take a look at the link below for further information.
    https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas

    Online Applications can be made from March 2016

    I appreciate the above may seem a lot to digest, but hopefully you will find it of assistance.

    Take care

    Emma
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    Hi Emma

    I'm a carer on carer's allowance and have taken some private a-levels this year with an offer to go to uni starting Sept 2016.

    I know I will lose my carer's allowance when I become a full time student but I'm wondering if I qualify for adult dependents grant? I do also work part time and will have to give this up as I will have to carry on the majority of my caring responsibilities so I'm going to be under a lot pressure financially.

    The person I care for is on ESA & DLA with no taxable income. Although I do help financially I would not say they are dependent on me fully.

    If I don't qualify for that help are you aware of any other services that might be able to assist me?

    Kind regards
    John
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    (Original post by dipka)
    Hi

    I'm not sure if this is the right place, but I need some help with this.

    I'm a 1st year student, currently getting Tuition fee loan, special support grant, and Disabled students allowances. I think their is also my DLA but that goes to my mum, not sure about anything else.

    I've been a carer for my mum as long a it is possible, so some parts I am very used to. She comes to get me and I go home every weekend to help her. However, since mid December she's apparently not had money. I gave her £600 that she convinced me was 'hers' but by the time I am back at uni after Christmas she's got no money. Every week since then she's been going shopping with me on Saturday, so she can pay using my money.

    It's getting me so worried now, like my loan/grant does not last forever, and it's for me while studying not for her. I can't stop worrying about summer, like when I get no money for months, that we both won't eat for all that time. It's making me even more scared to buy anything I don't need, and I don't spend money anyway (note, I had more than £600 left in December.. how many students do?) I have no leisure activities yet, and now I'm not willing to pay to go to anything I find.

    I don't know if she's a adult dependant on me yet, it's only been a few months, and I have money for now so their might not be any money I can apply for. But I really want some advice. I can't talk to mum, my disability makes talking difficult and I'm too scared about this to ask her anything.
    Good Morning Dipka
    Thank you for taking the time to leave a question.
    Ok, here's some information regarding the Adult Dependants Grant

    Who counts as an adult dependant?
    * is dependent on the student (rather than on the spouse or partner of the student, or on a third party);
    * is not an eligible student;
    * is not a child of the student;
    * is either:
    - the student's spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner, provided the student is over 25 or;
    - an other adult dependant with an net income from all sources after any tax and NI not exceeding £3,796 in the academic year.

    The highlighted paragraph above would apply to your circumstances.
    The maximum amount available for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 academic years is £2757 but the actual amount available depends on an income assessment as ADG is a grant.

    In order to apply, you would need to download the PN1 2015/16
    Please see link below:http://media.slc.co.uk/sfe/1516/ft/s...orm_1516_d.pdf

    You will need to complete the following pages.
    Pages 4 & 5 with your details
    Page 20 - question e1
    Page 21 - questions e2, e3 and e4
    Complete the student declaration on pages 23 & 24

    Please return the form with a covering letter explaining why you feel your mum is financially dependent on you.

    Once we have received the completed form, we will review the information you have submitted and inform you of the outcome.

    For further help and advice, I would advise that you speak with your Student Support Officer at Uni, who should be able to assist further.

    I hope the above helps

    Take care

    Emma
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    (Original post by Alice__90)
    Hi,

    I'm currently claiming child tax credits, income support and housing benefit. Can you please tell me which benefits will be affected by the loans? I start uni in September. I know I will come off income support but I was told I can still claim it in the holidays, also been told that I can only get child tax OR the childcare grant? So confused.

    Hi Alice
    Many thanks for your enquiry.
    From the information you have provided in your post, I am assuming you are a Lone parent and starting Uni in September?

    So firstly, based on that information, the support available to you would be as follows:
    * Tuition Fees (paid directly to your Uni)
    * Maintenance Loan
    * Parental Learning Allowance - up to £1573
    * Childcare Grant - you can apply for up to 85% of your actual childcare costs, up to a maximum of £155.24 a week for one child, or up to £266.15 a week for two or more children.

    Now for some important information ...
    If you are in receipt of the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits from HMRC, you are unable to claim the Childcare Grant from Student Finance.

    Student Finance Englandwill provide up to 85% of childcare costs whereas HM Revenue andCustoms will provide up to 70%.

    If you wanted to claim the Childcare Grant from Student Finance, you would need to tell HMRC that you no longer require the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits from the date your childcare will start in the 2016/17 academic year. (For a September start course, the academic year would run from 01/09/16 to 31/18/17)

    You will be able to claim your Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits (if applicable) just not the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits.

    As for your benefits, I am unable to advise how Loans and Grants from Student Finance would affect your benefits.
    It may help if you applied online for Student Finance when the application process opens in March 2016.
    Once your application has been processed, you will receive a Notification of Entitlement letter which will list all support awarded from Student Finance.
    I would suggest you then take a copy of the letter into your local benefits office and ask for their assistance. I am sure upon receipt of the above, they would be able to advise you on how / if your currently benefit entitlement would change once you begin Uni.

    Hope the above helps

    Take care

    Emma
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    (Original post by skeptical_john)
    Hi Emma

    I'm a carer on carer's allowance and have taken some private a-levels this year with an offer to go to uni starting Sept 2016.

    I know I will lose my carer's allowance when I become a full time student but I'm wondering if I qualify for adult dependents grant? I do also work part time and will have to give this up as I will have to carry on the majority of my caring responsibilities so I'm going to be under a lot pressure financially.

    The person I care for is on ESA & DLA with no taxable income. Although I do help financially I would not say they are dependent on me fully.

    If I don't qualify for that help are you aware of any other services that might be able to assist me?

    Kind regards
    John
    Hi John
    Many thanks for your enquiry.
    Please check your inbox.
    Kind regards
    Emma
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    Hello, I'm starting my undergraduate course in Sep 2016. I am low income, so I am entitled to a tuition fee loan and a bursary from my uni.

    My partner will be coming with me to uni, he receives carer's allowance for me, as he is my full time carer (I have a disability).

    I do not have independent student status. Would I be eligible for an adult dependent's grant due to the fact that I will be financially supporting my partner via student loans?

    Edit: partner's income is £3224 per year from carer's allowance. Also, my partner and I do not cohabit currently, and he is not financially dependent on me at this point in time, but when my course begins, we will cohabit and my student loans will support us both.
 
 
 
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