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    I have an offer (entry this year) from Cambridge (I'm in year 13 currently) however I am unsure of how to tackle my Student Finance.

    Here's a brief outline of my living situation:
    During June of 2013 I moved out of my mother's home with the help of social care into a young person's foyer. This was due to no fault of my own and down to my mother's incapabilities, (drinking and quite severe mental health problems).
    For over three years I've had absolutely no contact with my dad as he doesn't wish to be involved.
    I'm NOT classed as a "child in care" as I was 16 when I left home however I do receive benefit to support myself (as of course neither of my parents fund me in any way). The receival of my benefit is dependent of me being unable to return to home (would be dangerous for me) and me being in full time education (doing A levels). Another point to add is that last year with the help of my sixth form I moved from the young person's foyer into different hostel type housing (as the foyer was quite a rowdy place and I didn't particularly like it).

    Anyway I have two options on how to go about my Student Finance and was wondering which would work best.
    1) I rang Student Finance and outlined everything to them and asked if I should bother attempting to apply for estranged status and they said "I might as well try" (lol?)
    The issue is I have extremely sporadic and temperamental contact with my mum which I don't really wish to hide because I don't really feel comfortable lying about. She has never contributed to me financially since me moving out. I do not wish and will never move back in with her, it would be damaging for me. However any contact with a parent is said to invalidate your claim for estranged status as you are meant to have had no contact for three years. So is there any point of me bothering with this tedious application only to be rejected?
    Also if it is quite an intrusive application (if I have to go into detail about why my mum is an unfit mother) I would be really put off doing it because it's quite sensitive for me.

    2) My other idea is applying as if I wasn't estranged at all and inputting my mother's details for a means tested loan like most other students (as long as all it requires is her National Insurance number and an estimate of her income then I can do that as I know what her NI number is and I know she claims disability benefit so her earning income is zero). However if it requires much more information than that I won't be able to fill it in because I am no way on good enough terms with her for her to give me any information.
    If route one was to fail would like be damaging for my SF application when I have to apply through route 2? Also I'm concerned as although I will probably receive the highest loan still using route 2 where will I stay and fund accommodation outside of term time? Especially since Cambridge has notoriously long holidays.
    A final point I recently thought of: if I was to work a full time job in the holidays during uni and earned a fair bit (but was classed as an estranged student so I was means tested off my income alone) do you think my student loan would decrease due to my income rising from full time holiday work? And this therefore wouldn't happen if I used my mum's details?
    So therefore would I actually be financially better off applying using my mum's details?

    Sorry for the rambling nature of the post, I'm just clueless and need as much advice as possible.
    Thank you!
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    (Original post by stayg0ld)
    I have an offer (entry this year) from Cambridge (I'm in year 13 currently) however I am unsure of how to tackle my Student Finance.

    Here's a brief outline of my living situation:
    During June of 2013 I moved out of my mother's home with the help of social care into a young person's foyer. This was due to no fault of my own and down to my mother's incapabilities, (drinking and quite severe mental health problems).
    For over three years I've had absolutely no contact with my dad as he doesn't wish to be involved.
    I'm NOT classed as a "child in care" as I was 16 when I left home however I do receive benefit to support myself (as of course neither of my parents fund me in any way). The receival of my benefit is dependent of me being unable to return to home (would be dangerous for me) and me being in full time education (doing A levels). Another point to add is that last year with the help of my sixth form I moved from the young person's foyer into different hostel type housing (as the foyer was quite a rowdy place and I didn't particularly like it).

    Anyway I have two options on how to go about my Student Finance and was wondering which would work best.
    1) I rang Student Finance and outlined everything to them and asked if I should bother attempting to apply for estranged status and they said "I might as well try" (lol?)
    The issue is I have extremely sporadic and temperamental contact with my mum which I don't really wish to hide because I don't really feel comfortable lying about. She has never contributed to me financially since me moving out. I do not wish and will never move back in with her, it would be damaging for me. However any contact with a parent is said to invalidate your claim for estranged status as you are meant to have had no contact for three years. So is there any point of me bothering with this tedious application only to be rejected?
    Also if it is quite an intrusive application (if I have to go into detail about why my mum is an unfit mother) I would be really put off doing it because it's quite sensitive for me.

    2) My other idea is applying as if I wasn't estranged at all and inputting my mother's details for a means tested loan like most other students (as long as all it requires is her National Insurance number and an estimate of her income then I can do that as I know what her NI number is and I know she claims disability benefit so her earning income is zero). However if it requires much more information than that I won't be able to fill it in because I am no way on good enough terms with her for her to give me any information.
    If route one was to fail would like be damaging for my SF application when I have to apply through route 2? Also I'm concerned as although I will probably receive the highest loan still using route 2 where will I stay and fund accommodation outside of term time? Especially since Cambridge has notoriously long holidays.
    A final point I recently thought of: if I was to work a full time job in the holidays during uni and earned a fair bit (but was classed as an estranged student so I was means tested off my income alone) do you think my student loan would decrease due to my income rising from full time holiday work? And this therefore wouldn't happen if I used my mum's details?
    So therefore would I actually be financially better off applying using my mum's details?

    Sorry for the rambling nature of the post, I'm just clueless and need as much advice as possible.
    Thank you!
    If you have been in care then a letter from a social worker or professional explaining your situation should suffice, they don't ask for major specifics my partner was under estrangement and had a letter from a professional explaining he had to leave his mothers home at 17 and hadn't been supported by her since and sfe accepted that with no problems.
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    (Original post by claireestelle)
    If you have been in care then a letter from a social worker or professional explaining your situation should suffice, they don't ask for major specifics my partner was under estrangement and had a letter from a professional explaining he had to leave his mothers home at 17 and hadn't been supported by her since and sfe accepted that with no problems.
    Social care were involved with my move but I have never legally been classed as in care as I was 16 when I moved out. I checked this with social care. I think this also might invalidate my claim?
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    (Original post by stayg0ld)
    Social care were involved with my move but I have never legally been classed as in care as I was 16 when I moved out. I checked this with social care. I think this also might invalidate my claim?
    I dont think my partner ever did either but he was eligible for income support for similar reasons like you were and his letter explained this. SFE say they'll accept a letter from the jobcentre explaining you got benefits because of your situation or a letter from a teacher from your school explaining what happened with your mum or if you visited your doctor because of it. I think it's supposed to be 12 months no contact however exceptional circumstances can mean that won't apply and I recon mental health problems on your mum's behalf could be considered that. I don't think they'll refuse to grant you estranged status but it does no harm to your application to try i believe.

    If you haven't already give the last page of this document a read it might help http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/m..._fs_1516_d.pdf
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    (Original post by claireestelle;[url="tel:63906169")
    63906169[/url]]I dont think my partner ever did either but he was eligible for income support for similar reasons like you were and his letter explained this. SFE say they'll accept a letter from the jobcentre explaining you got benefits because of your situation or a letter from a teacher from your school explaining what happened with your mum or if you visited your doctor because of it. I think it's supposed to be 12 months no contact however exceptional circumstances can mean that won't apply and I recon mental health problems on your mum's behalf could be considered that. I don't think they'll refuse to grant you estranged status but it does no harm to your application to try i believe.

    If you haven't already give the last page of this document a read it might help http://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/m..._fs_1516_d.pdf
    Thank you for your advice
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    (Original post by stayg0ld)
    Thank you for your advice
    No problem, glad to help
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    With stuff like this, it's done on a case by case basis. I think Claire has the right idea - you'd probably need letters to say you don't have contact with your parents. Your benefit letters might be enough; but I'd get a letter just in case. (generally, 16 and 17 years can only claim income support if they have no living parents / they're estranged)

    Your school / college should be able to advise you? I'm sure they have experience of this situation. They may write you a letter explaining your situation, if needed.
 
 
 
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