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    Dear Sam

    We have only received notification of the amendments to the regulations from the DWP yesterday morning, so here are my revised responses to the questions. As requested I have placed the answers following each question.

    1. If the loan were to be £5,000 in year one of the masters programme and the cost of the masters is £5,000 in year 1 and £5,000 in year 2 of the masters, how much is considered earnings in each year? What percentage of which figure is used as earnings? The loan is treated as income, not earnings, therefore nothing would be disregarded from ”earnings”.

    1. If the loan were to be £5,000 in one year of the masters programme, with a further £5,000 for the year 2, the income from the loans would be 30% of the loan,£1,500. This would be apportioned in the same way previously explained, for the period relating to the period of study. So a course commencing in September 2016, and with a holiday term in the summer term, a weekly income from the £1,500 would be calculated using the number of weeks from the first full benefit week in September to the last Sunday in July 2017. In this case that would be September 2016 to 25th June 2017 which is 42 weeks. From the £1,500 we would deduct £303.00 for travel costs and £390.00 for books and equipment. This would leave £807.00 to apportion over the 42 week period at £19.21 per week. This amount would be further reduced by the £10.00 weekly disregard, to £9.21 per week.

    2. Is the part of the loan considered earnings (30%) apportioned from start to end of the postgraduate course throughout the academic year but income calculated April 2016 to 31 March 2017 for housing benefit purposes.

    2. The loan would not be treated as earnings, but as income. This would be applied for the period of study, so if the course commenced on 14th September 2016, we would apply this income from the following Monday, 19th September 2016 up until Monday 26th June 2017. The income for the second year would be applied from the first Monday in September 2017, and would then be removed from the Monday following the completion of the course.

    3. Are the disregards of £10 per week plus £632 per annum for each year of the course? So is a total of £22pw disregarded from earnings each year? [Regulation 64(5)and regulation 64(2).

    3. The £10 disregard will be applied for the period of study, not for the whole year. Therefore if the period of study was calculated as a 42 week period the £10 disregard would be applied for those 42 weeks only. The disregard for Books and Travel, totaling £693 would be applied for each year of study.

    4. For example using weekly earnings at the maximum permitted threshold (£73.10) before deductions from housing benefit are made and a simple case for a single person above 30 years old with no assets or other income other than the £73.10 per week and paying rent at or below the permitted LHA rate and in receipt of housing benefit, what are the weekly earnings in such an example? (basic uncomplicated case to illustrate)

    4. As in your example, if someone had earnings of £73.10 per week, equal to their Personal Allowance, the additional income from the loan would come to £9.21 per week (as detailed above). The Housing Benefit award would be reduced by 65% of any income above the Personal Allowance (termed Excess Income). So an Excess Income of £9.21 per week would reduce the Housing Benefit award by £5.99.

    5. Is the correct figure for total earnings using the below and above examples equal to £73.10pw plus £29pw (30% of £5,000 = £1,500pa or £29pw) less the disregards of £22pw?

    5. This is not correct. The income from the loan would be £9.21 per week (30% of £5,000 - £693 ÷ 42 weeks =£19.21. Minus £10 disregard).

    Is the income calculated 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 even though it is apportioned, using the size of the loan less the £10pw disregarded less the £632pa disregarded, weekly from 1 October 16 to 31 July 2017?

    The income is not calculated from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 or 52 weeks. It is calculated based on the period of study.

    Regards

    Revenues and Benefits
    City Treasurers
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    (Original post by SamBruce1985)
    Dear Sam

    We have only received notification of the amendments to the regulations from the DWP yesterday morning, so here are my revised responses to the questions. As requested I have placed the answers following each question.

    1. If the loan were to be £5,000 in year one of the masters programme and the cost of the masters is £5,000 in year 1 and £5,000 in year 2 of the masters, how much is considered earnings in each year? What percentage of which figure is used as earnings? The loan is treated as income, not earnings, therefore nothing would be disregarded from ”earnings”.

    1. If the loan were to be £5,000 in one year of the masters programme, with a further £5,000 for the year 2, the income from the loans would be 30% of the loan,£1,500. This would be apportioned in the same way previously explained, for the period relating to the period of study. So a course commencing in September 2016, and with a holiday term in the summer term, a weekly income from the £1,500 would be calculated using the number of weeks from the first full benefit week in September to the last Sunday in July 2017. In this case that would be September 2016 to 25th June 2017 which is 42 weeks. From the £1,500 we would deduct £303.00 for travel costs and £390.00 for books and equipment. This would leave £807.00 to apportion over the 42 week period at £19.21 per week. This amount would be further reduced by the £10.00 weekly disregard, to £9.21 per week.

    2. Is the part of the loan considered earnings (30%) apportioned from start to end of the postgraduate course throughout the academic year but income calculated April 2016 to 31 March 2017 for housing benefit purposes.

    2. The loan would not be treated as earnings, but as income. This would be applied for the period of study, so if the course commenced on 14th September 2016, we would apply this income from the following Monday, 19th September 2016 up until Monday 26th June 2017. The income for the second year would be applied from the first Monday in September 2017, and would then be removed from the Monday following the completion of the course.

    3. Are the disregards of £10 per week plus £632 per annum for each year of the course? So is a total of £22pw disregarded from earnings each year? [Regulation 64(5)and regulation 64(2).

    3. The £10 disregard will be applied for the period of study, not for the whole year. Therefore if the period of study was calculated as a 42 week period the £10 disregard would be applied for those 42 weeks only. The disregard for Books and Travel, totaling £693 would be applied for each year of study.

    4. For example using weekly earnings at the maximum permitted threshold (£73.10) before deductions from housing benefit are made and a simple case for a single person above 30 years old with no assets or other income other than the £73.10 per week and paying rent at or below the permitted LHA rate and in receipt of housing benefit, what are the weekly earnings in such an example? (basic uncomplicated case to illustrate)

    4. As in your example, if someone had earnings of £73.10 per week, equal to their Personal Allowance, the additional income from the loan would come to £9.21 per week (as detailed above). The Housing Benefit award would be reduced by 65% of any income above the Personal Allowance (termed Excess Income). So an Excess Income of £9.21 per week would reduce the Housing Benefit award by £5.99.

    5. Is the correct figure for total earnings using the below and above examples equal to £73.10pw plus £29pw (30% of £5,000 = £1,500pa or £29pw) less the disregards of £22pw?

    5. This is not correct. The income from the loan would be £9.21 per week (30% of £5,000 - £693 ÷ 42 weeks =£19.21. Minus £10 disregard).

    Is the income calculated 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 even though it is apportioned, using the size of the loan less the £10pw disregarded less the £632pa disregarded, weekly from 1 October 16 to 31 July 2017?

    The income is not calculated from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 or 52 weeks. It is calculated based on the period of study.

    Regards
    Karen Way

    Contracts Manager
    Revenues and Benefits
    City Treasurers
    The rules for the new Postgraduate Loan are quite specific and specify a set amount of the loan (30%) to be treated as income as per the Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 743 (page 3) that came into force on 4 August 2016.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...0160743_en.pdf (see page 3)

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2.../contents/made
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...lation/59/made
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...lation/63/made
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...lation/64/made

    [(2) In regulation 53(1) (students: interpretation), after the definition of “periods of experience” insert— ““postgraduate master’s degree loan” means a loan which a student is eligible to receive under the Education (Postgraduate Master’s Degree Loans) Regulations 2016;”.

    (3) In regulation 59(3) (calculation of grant income)— (a) after “a student loan” insert “or a postgraduate master’s degree loan”; (b) for “such a loan” substitute “a student loan or a postgraduate master’s degree loan. [applied to the below]


    (3) Where a student does not have a student loan and is not treated as possessing such a loan, there shall be excluded from the student’s grant income— (a) the sum of £280 in respect of travel costs; and (b) the sum of £352 towards the costs of books and equipment, whether or not any such costs are incurred.

    (4) In regulation 64 (treatment of student loans)—

    (a) at the end of the heading add “and postgraduate master’s degree loans”;
    (b) in paragraph (1), after “A student loan” insert “and a postgraduate master’s degree loan”;
    (c) in paragraph (3)— (i) after “a student loan” in both places, insert “or a postgraduate master’s degree loan”; (ii) in sub-paragraph (b), for “such a loan” substitute “a student loan or a postgraduate master’s degree loan”.
    (d) after paragraph (4) insert—

    “(4A) Where a student is treated as possessing a postgraduate master’s degree loan under paragraph (3) in respect of an academic year, the amount of that loan to be taken into account as income shall be, subject to paragraph (5), a sum equal to 30 per cent. of the maximum postgraduate master’s degree loan the student is able to acquire in respect of that academic year by taking reasonable steps to do so.”.

    (5) After regulation 64A(a) insert—

    ...end
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    Hi Sam,
    I have sent in my postgraduate loan to housing benefit and they have asked for a breakdown of the loan as per the previous years. I called an explained that its new and new legislation and that the amount is 30% and where they could find the information. I explained about tuition fees and they asked for my invoice for the fees. I explained that I could provide but its not needed considering the rules for the way they treat the postgraduate loan. They said on the phone the way they do it is to just deduct the fees and use the remaining amount as income. What would you suggest I do now? my housing benefit is currently suspended and I have paid my fees so I need to get this sorted out ASAP.
    Regards
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    (Original post by rose21757)
    Hi Sam,
    I have sent in my postgraduate loan to housing benefit and they have asked for a breakdown of the loan as per the previous years. I called an explained that its new and new legislation and that the amount is 30% and where they could find the information. I explained about tuition fees and they asked for my invoice for the fees. I explained that I could provide but its not needed considering the rules for the way they treat the postgraduate loan. They said on the phone the way they do it is to just deduct the fees and use the remaining amount as income. What would you suggest I do now? my housing benefit is currently suspended and I have paid my fees so I need to get this sorted out ASAP.
    Regards
    Hi,
    I'd be very interested to find out how you got on with this issue. I have been looking into how my benefits would be affected, ready for my application for next year. However, this in the only bit of information ihave come accross! Did you manage to resolve this and how.
    Many thanks


    Jacky
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    Hi jacky,
    I am still waiting they have assessed the whole loan and not even taken my fees out of it and have spread it over 42 weeks instead of 52, so said I was not entitled and said the legislation wasn't for housing benefit purposes when in fact it is. The university wrote them a letter and they haven't even looked at that yet so I'm still waiting on an appeal. It has nearly been 3 months now. I called them this morning and they said I would still be waiting a few more weeks. It has caused me so much stress. I would advise if you do this next year you get a letter from the university in the first instance before you make them aware and they suspend.
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    (Original post by rose21757)
    Hi jacky,
    I am still waiting they have assessed the whole loan and not even taken my fees out of it and have spread it over 42 weeks instead of 52, so said I was not entitled and said the legislation wasn't for housing benefit purposes when in fact it is. The university wrote them a letter and they haven't even looked at that yet so I'm still waiting on an appeal. It has nearly been 3 months now. I called them this morning and they said I would still be waiting a few more weeks. It has caused me so much stress. I would advise if you do this next year you get a letter from the university in the first instance before you make them aware and they suspend.
    This link might help:

    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...rimary_content
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    (Original post by rose21757)
    Hi Sam,
    I have sent in my postgraduate loan to housing benefit and they have asked for a breakdown of the loan as per the previous years. I called an explained that its new and new legislation and that the amount is 30% and where they could find the information. I explained about tuition fees and they asked for my invoice for the fees. I explained that I could provide but its not needed considering the rules for the way they treat the postgraduate loan. They said on the phone the way they do it is to just deduct the fees and use the remaining amount as income. What would you suggest I do now? my housing benefit is currently suspended and I have paid my fees so I need to get this sorted out ASAP.
    Regards
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...rimary_content
 
 
 
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