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Single parent, student finance and universal credit watch

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    Is there anyone who is a single parent receiving student finance and universal credit?
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    (Original post by Ssb163)
    Is there anyone who is a single parent receiving student finance and universal credit?
    I have a new claim for universal credit. I am a single parent of two and was working when I first took out my post grad loan so half way through a part time MA. They have counted all (100%) of my loan as income. They have adjusted my benefit by that amount. In other words I have lost benefits to the amount of the whole post grad loan, cannot now pay my fees AND will still have to pay back the loan. I have written to the DWP to double check before I cancel my course/loan. I am incredulous! sorry if this does not bring you comfort :-(
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    I have 3 children and am in the same position. I am doing my undegrad and receiving £68 and month from universal credit. I too have written to them to no avail, I am going to contact citizens advice. How fair is it to be penalised especially as we have to pay back the loan.

    Is there anything else you can do instead of cancelling your course? Thanks to those that voted for the tories
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    Don’t get me started on the tories! 😱😱😬
    Really not sure if anything else I can do. It all depends on getting back into work ASAP and I am trying.
    I’m utterly incredulous still...in effect they are getting the loan back twice!! Hope you are able to continue?
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    I really hope you find something soon; I know working and studying while being a lone parent is extremely difficult however, I am sure you will get through.

    I will continue, financially it is going to be a struggle hopefully it will not interfere with me mentally!
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    (Original post by Ssb163)
    I really hope you find something soon; I know working and studying while being a lone parent is extremely difficult however, I am sure you will get through.

    I will continue, financially it is going to be a struggle hopefully it will not interfere with me mentally!

    I'm a single parent on UC and am not sure how doing my course in Sept will affect it. I'll be in a similar position next September and would like to know how you're managing.
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    If it is a university course they will take into account all the student finance you receive, it will be deducted from your universal credit. I have three children and I receive £280 a month uc. I have to pay my full rent from my student finance which leaves me roughly £5000 a year it is tough.
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    Hey!

    Just so you all know, Universal Credit should not be taking into account all of your student loan. The DWP must discard the SSE (Special Support Element) of the loan. They shouldn't be taking into account any bursaries from university either, or the PLA.

    Thought I'd say just incase any of you hadn't checked that with them.
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    I have been having this discussion with them for 14 months, they said that only applied to legacy benefits and that universal credit is a new benefit which is calculated differently. Believe me I have been battling them, read all the guidelines on the gov website.
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    Oh God, they are absolutely useless. It's disgusting the way they're treating people, I can't believe it.

    What steps have you taken with them so far? Have you pointed them in the direction of any legislation, contacted your MP, contacted anybody more senior in the DWP? I'm asking only because I'll be moving alone to London with my baby in September and I'm terrified of what's going to happen with UC, so I want to start preparing and taking as many steps as I can now, ready for when I apply in September.
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    I have written to my MP (useless) directed me to an organisation which can't help me as they have closed their books due to number of active cases. The legislation actually states universal credit does take into account the full amount of student finance available regardless whether you accept the full amount or not.

    Check the postcode where you will be moving too as some areas have not moved to universal credit yet.
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    (Original post by Ssb163)
    I have written to my MP (useless) directed me to an organisation which can't help me as they have closed their books due to number of active cases. The legislation actually states universal credit does take into account the full amount of student finance available regardless whether you accept the full amount or not.

    Check the postcode where you will be moving too as some areas have not moved to universal credit yet.
    There's an agreement that DWP shouldn't take into account the SSE, and obviously UC is under the DWP. They actually amended the legislation for legacy benefits a couple of years ago to bring it in line with UC re. how the SSE is treated, yet UC aren't discarding the SSE?! I'm still sifting through legislation at the moment, but I can send you over all the references I've found in government documents about the DWP/UC discarding the SSE, if it could be of any help? Sounds like you might already have everything though!

    Looking at how bad it is, for my first year, I'm now planning to move to an area still on legacy benefits, but I don't think I'll be able to escape it from the second year onwards as more and more areas are moved over to UC.
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    Been having a look round today, and come across this:

    In The Universal Credit Regulations 2013, point 68 (7):

    “student loan” means a loan towards a student’s maintenance pursuant to any regulations made under section 22 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998(a), section 73 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980(b) or Article 3 of the Education (Student Support) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998(c) and includes, in Scotland, a young student’s bursary paid under regulation 4(1)(c) of the Students’ Allowances (Scotland) Regulation 2007(d).

    and in the THE EDUCATION (STUDENT SUPPORT) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2015, point 28 (k):

    a “special support loan” is a loan to defray the costs of books, equipment, travel or childcare incurred for the purpose of attending a designated course.”.

    Surely this then should be enough for UC to realise they should not be including the Special Support Loan.

    I have also contacted Pamala Chambers in the DWP today. She was the contact listed for the 'EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY (TREATMENT OF POSTGRADUATE MASTER’S DEGREE LOANS AND SPECIAL SUPPORT LOANS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2016'. In the memorandum, it's stated several times that UC disregards the Special Support Loan. I emailed her to point out that UC are in fact not disregarding the SSL, and if they should be, could she point me in the direction of any legislation dictating that they should be.

    Will post here if I receive any response, and I plan to keep contacting people in the DWP over the next few days.

    OP, have you come across the above legislation before? If not, could you try taking it up for your claim with Universal Credit?
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    I haven't seen his legislation before, I will send another journal message to them in regards to the above, the finance department at the uni said they shouldn't be taking it all into account either. However it gets so tiresome going back and forth especially raising children alone and dealing with assignments.

    If you do get a response I would be very grateful to know.

    Hopefully you will get through to at least your third year before falling into the trap x
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    I am having the exact same problem at the minute. It's been going on for 4 months now and I can't tell you just how much stress it's causing me! I've also found student finance legislation and universal credit regulations that seem to support that DWP should disregard the special support element of the maintenance loan. It all seems completely simple to interpret this guidance but for some reason it's just not sinking in with them! It really is so frustrating. My last conversation was today. I've now got one assigned person at UC dealing with it. She has taken it up with their policy team due to an apparent discrepancy with the Decision Makers guidance, which she didn't seem to want to go into detail about even though i asked what the discrepancy was. YOU SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE THAT WHEN DWP CALCULATE ENTITLEMENT THEY SHOULD ALSO DISREGARD A FURTHER £110 IN THEIR CALCULATION AS WELL AS THE SPECIAL SUPPORT ELEMENT.
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    (Original post by Ssb163)
    I haven't seen his legislation before, I will send another journal message to them in regards to the above, the finance department at the uni said they shouldn't be taking it all into account either. However it gets so tiresome going back and forth especially raising children alone and dealing with assignments.

    If you do get a response I would be very grateful to know.

    Hopefully you will get through to at least your third year before falling into the trap x
    If they try and say something along the lines of 'books etc are part of maintenance', then they need to look at the whole of point 28, as it explicitly distinguishes between loans towards a student's maintenance and the Special Support Loan.

    Oh no, I can imagine. I'm a lone parent to a baby, and I'm just managing to find some time to look through things now - I know that I would never be able to handle it all while studying as well, which is why I'm trying to get so much done now and be prepared as possible for when I do have to deal with UC.

    Well, I'll keep posting anything I find - just incase it could be useful for anybody!
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    (Original post by Roscy)
    I am having the exact same problem at the minute. It's been going on for 4 months now and I can't tell you just how much stress it's causing me! I've also found student finance legislation and universal credit regulations that seem to support that DWP should disregard the special support element of the maintenance loan. It all seems completely simple to interpret this guidance but for some reason it's just not sinking in with them! It really is so frustrating. My last conversation was today. I've now got one assigned person at UC dealing with it. She has taken it up with their policy team due to an apparent discrepancy with the Decision Makers guidance, which she didn't seem to want to go into detail about even though i asked what the discrepancy was. YOU SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE THAT WHEN DWP CALCULATE ENTITLEMENT THEY SHOULD ALSO DISREGARD A FURTHER £110 IN THEIR CALCULATION AS WELL AS THE SPECIAL SUPPORT ELEMENT.
    Oh no, I hate to think how many people are struggling because of this. Why don't they know what they're doing?! It's ridiculous.

    Interesting that she wouldn't say what the discrepancy is... Be great if you could post back and let us know what happens after she's spoken to the policy team?
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    Did you guys have any luck? Im seriously considering not going to University after reading this
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    (Original post by Kayleighdemp)
    Did you guys have any luck? Im seriously considering not going to University after reading this
    Oh no!

    I'm currently spending all my time revising for a test I've been asked to sit in a couple of weeks, but after that, I'll be back to trying to find more out about all of this.
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    (Original post by Evian_12)
    Oh no!

    I'm currently spending all my time revising for a test I've been asked to sit in a couple of weeks, but after that, I'll be back to trying to find more out about all of this.

    Aww good luck!!!
 
 
 
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