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    Got a question about what welfare benefits you could be entitled to while at Uni? Our experts are here to help.

    Heather is a Senior Student Adviser, she has been working in the University of Plymouth Students’ Union Advice Centre for 9 years, and has been giving advice on Welfare benefits for 12 years.

    Please be aware all answers will be posted on Monday 12 February.
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    Hi,Is it possible to study at uni part time and still get ESA/PIP benefits? What's the best way of persuading a course I would really like to do, to let me study part time?Thanks so muchCharlie
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    Hi All,

    Ive seen numerous threads asking the same questions as me but none with the answer. I have accepted a place to study Menatl health nursing in September. However when trying to work out the finances I'm not getting anywhere.

    I'm aware that I am entitled to a bursary and just over 3000 student finance and due to being a lone parent have contacted my Local authority and they have said that I will be entitled to some housing benefit but they couldn't tell me how much until I start the course.

    I have contacted Citizen advice and money advice and don't seem to be getting any answers.

    It is my dream to become a nurse but I need to be realistic and wouldn't want to quit a fairly paid job to go to uni and have to quit a few weeks in due to not be able to afford it.

    Please help any advice appreciated
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    Hi guys,
    I've checked out other threads on here but haven't found anyone in my exact situation and could really do with some specific advice right now.

    I work part-time in retail, just 14 hours a week (weekends) and earn £450 per month.
    Just before I started my post grad course (sept 17) I moved out. During the time before me being a student, I was making a contribution to my rent of £30p/w (i received £44 p/w housing benefit) I was also paying approximate £30p/m council tax.

    I receive funding from student finance of £10,280. Obviously I am a part time student so this is split into £5,140 per year. The cost of my tuition fee is £9,900.

    Since becoming a student, I have had so many issues with my housing benefit and council tax that at the moment I feel like I'm being forced to choose between being made homeless or having to withdraw from a course I'm weeks away from sitting exams for.

    I have already disputed the decision made by the relevant departments. They have again decided that I must use 30% of my loan to pay additional rent and council tax. At the moment, they have decided that from my student loan I have an additional income of £36.71 per week and should be paying this additional amount towards my rent. In total they are saying i should be paying £55.20 a week towards my rent but due to them making "overpayments" since september, I am being expected to pay £68.80 per week until this is covered.

    As well as this, they are expecting me to pay £255 council tax in february to cover the "overpayment" for this.

    Clearly, this is going to prove impossible for me on a wage of £450. Ive sent off a copy of my my student finance loan breakdown, an invoice for £5000 for my tuition fees this year, confirmation of my student status to the uni including hours I am in per week and they are already aware of my work hours and income. I've sent 2 letters to them explaining this.

    I'm living in a one bedroom flat which is over an hour away from my work and uni so I'm having to pay £5.20 per day to get there. Because of all of this, I'm going to work for 9 hours with no lunch whatsoever and if I'm hit with the above bills next month I wont even be able to afford to get to uni or work.

    I've read about the rules relating to post-grad students in other threads but can anyone advise me at to what I should do. I sent off another letter disputing it today but I'm feeling far from hopeful right now. I was homeless for a whole year during my 3rd year of undergrad and was literally sleeping in starbucks, I have no family I can turn to and am really just trying to focus on my exams and don't want to have to go through that again. Any advise anyone can offer would be great.

    Thankyou
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    Hello, To put a long story short I started my animation course back in September 2016 but due to external problems I fell behind on my work and had to redo the year again, September 2017. Anyway I remember getting my student loan like usual but I also got paid an extra £700ish which was really helpful since alot of my time is spent caring for my disabled mother and helping her out. I don't get that anymore but cant really remember if I mentioned it the previous year thats why I received it. Would anyone please be able to shed some light on what this was?
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    (Original post by Charlie Skyler)
    Hi,Is it possible to study at uni part time and still get ESA/PIP benefits? What's the best way of persuading a course I would really like to do, to let me study part time?Thanks so muchCharlie
    Hi
    The rules around part time funding are due to change for the next academic year. Currently if you enrol on to a part time course then you are only able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan with no Maintenance Loan. This is due to change in September but as yet details of how much the Maintenance Loan will be have not been released.

    If you are in receipt of Income based ESA then under the current rules this would remain unchanged as Tuition Fee Loans are not counted as income. However, at your next medical assessment they may discuss your ability to study in relation to meeting the ESA criteria, this does not mean it will be removed just something for you to be aware of.

    If a Maintenance Loan is provided for part time study then it is likely that the DWP will take some of it into account as income, in the same way that they do for full time students. Without knowing the amount of Maintenance Loan that can be awarded it is difficult to say what impact that will have on your ESA.

    If your ESA is contribution based then this will remain unchanged whilst you study.

    If the institution does not advertise a part time route it is always worth asking if one can be made for you. You may also find more part time routes become available once the funding situation has been made clear by the Student Loans Company.

    For a full benefits check prior to starting University you may wish to contact the Students' Union Advice Centre for your chosen institution.
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    (Original post by 2007rock)
    Hi All,

    Ive seen numerous threads asking the same questions as me but none with the answer. I have accepted a place to study Menatl health nursing in September. However when trying to work out the finances I'm not getting anywhere.

    I'm aware that I am entitled to a bursary and just over 3000 student finance and due to being a lone parent have contacted my Local authority and they have said that I will be entitled to some housing benefit but they couldn't tell me how much until I start the course.

    I have contacted Citizen advice and money advice and don't seem to be getting any answers.

    It is my dream to become a nurse but I need to be realistic and wouldn't want to quit a fairly paid job to go to uni and have to quit a few weeks in due to not be able to afford it.

    Please help any advice appreciated
    Hi

    I'm not sure from your question whether you are aware that the funding for NHS related courses has moved away from the NHS Bursary and over to SFE this academic year. Consequently as a lone parent you could receive the following from SFE:
    Maintenance Loan (including special support element) = £9916
    Long Course Loan (additional £93 per week) - you will need to ask the University how long the course is
    Parents Learning Allowance = £1669
    Child Care Grant = up to £164.70 for one child

    In addition the NHS still provide:
    £1000 bursary to those responsible for a child
    up to £3000 Exceptional Support Fund

    You have stated in your question that you are working, therefore I would assume that you are only in receipt of Housing Benefit on it's own and not through Income Support or ESA. If this is the case then the Local Council will disregard a significant amount of the income above and you will have to report a change of circumstances to the Council in September when you start the course. Most single parents retain some entitlement to Housing Benefit during term time.

    You should be aware that Universal Credit is being introduced across the country, you can check when it will be a full service benefit in your area here: https://universalcreditinfo.net/

    You should not be moved on to Universal Credit unless you have a reason for a new claim, such as moving to a different Local Authority, a change in income will not in itself trigger a move to Universal Credit.

    For a full benefits check prior to starting University you may wish to contact the Students' Union Advice Centre for your chosen University.
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    Hi there,
    I'm currently recieving ESA's income related disability allowance. Is it possible that I could still recieve this allowance while at University, or if there are any bursaries/charities that give help to disabled students?
    Thanks
    George
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    Thank you so much for your reply. This will be my second degree and I want t do a biological sciences course (one of the exempt part time ones, so I would be able to receive the part time tuition fee loan), might there still be a possibility for a maintenance grant (as I didn't get it during my first degree), or for living expenses would I be fully reliant on housing benefit, ESA and PIP (old disability living allowance)?Thanks,Charlie
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    (Original post by ell-)
    Hi guys,
    I've checked out other threads on here but haven't found anyone in my exact situation and could really do with some specific advice right now.

    I work part-time in retail, just 14 hours a week (weekends) and earn £450 per month.
    Just before I started my post grad course (sept 17) I moved out. During the time before me being a student, I was making a contribution to my rent of £30p/w (i received £44 p/w housing benefit) I was also paying approximate £30p/m council tax.

    I receive funding from student finance of £10,280. Obviously I am a part time student so this is split into £5,140 per year. The cost of my tuition fee is £9,900.

    Since becoming a student, I have had so many issues with my housing benefit and council tax that at the moment I feel like I'm being forced to choose between being made homeless or having to withdraw from a course I'm weeks away from sitting exams for.

    I have already disputed the decision made by the relevant departments. They have again decided that I must use 30% of my loan to pay additional rent and council tax. At the moment, they have decided that from my student loan I have an additional income of £36.71 per week and should be paying this additional amount towards my rent. In total they are saying i should be paying £55.20 a week towards my rent but due to them making "overpayments" since september, I am being expected to pay £68.80 per week until this is covered.

    As well as this, they are expecting me to pay £255 council tax in february to cover the "overpayment" for this.

    Clearly, this is going to prove impossible for me on a wage of £450. Ive sent off a copy of my my student finance loan breakdown, an invoice for £5000 for my tuition fees this year, confirmation of my student status to the uni including hours I am in per week and they are already aware of my work hours and income. I've sent 2 letters to them explaining this.

    I'm living in a one bedroom flat which is over an hour away from my work and uni so I'm having to pay £5.20 per day to get there. Because of all of this, I'm going to work for 9 hours with no lunch whatsoever and if I'm hit with the above bills next month I wont even be able to afford to get to uni or work.

    I've read about the rules relating to post-grad students in other threads but can anyone advise me at to what I should do. I sent off another letter disputing it today but I'm feeling far from hopeful right now. I was homeless for a whole year during my 3rd year of undergrad and was literally sleeping in starbucks, I have no family I can turn to and am really just trying to focus on my exams and don't want to have to go through that again. Any advise anyone can offer would be great.

    Thankyou
    Hi

    I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling financially. The Local Authority are correct in stating that they will count 30% of your Postgraduate Loan as income at £36 for 42 weeks of the year (42 weeks is the number of academic weeks), therefore from the end of June you will not be deemed to be in receipt of this amount, and your Housing Benefit will increase over the summer.

    As you are also working this income is taken account minus some small disregards usually around £17.10 per week for someone working 14 hours.

    From the figures you have provided it would appear that the Local Authority's calculations for Housing Benefit are correct.

    As your tuition fees are higher than the 70% expected by the Local Authority, you could make an application for a Discretionary Housing Payment to the Local Authority. As the name suggests the fund is discretionary so there is no guarantee, however, it may be worth a go. Your Local Authority should be able to tell you how to make an application, some require a letter others have a form for you to complete.

    You may also wish to speak to your University about any Hardship Fund that they may offer, often there is a downloadable form on the University's website or alternatively from your Student Support Services.

    In addition you could look at applying for some grants from various charities, the easiest way to access the grants is through www.turn2us.org.uk Sometimes you may need an Advice Centre to assist you with an application so you may need to get in touch with your Students' Union Advice Centre for support if needed.
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    What do welfare benefits mean for students? And what sort of student is eligible for it?
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    What do welfare benefits mean for students? And what sort of student is eligible for welfare benefits?
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    (Original post by CallumH7)
    Hello, To put a long story short I started my animation course back in September 2016 but due to external problems I fell behind on my work and had to redo the year again, September 2017. Anyway I remember getting my student loan like usual but I also got paid an extra £700ish which was really helpful since alot of my time is spent caring for my disabled mother and helping her out. I don't get that anymore but cant really remember if I mentioned it the previous year thats why I received it. Would anyone please be able to shed some light on what this was?
    Hi Callum

    It sounds like the £700 probably came from a University bursary that is awarded in a student's first year of study only. You may wish to check with your University's Student Services to see if they have a Hardship Fund or a Carers Bursary that you can apply to instead this year.

    Unfortunately as a full time student you are not entitled to Carers Allowance, however, it may be worth getting in touch with a local Citizens Advice Bureau to check whether your mum is receiving all of the assistance she is entitled to.

    There are often support services available for young carers in your local area. As a carer you are entitled to an assessment of your needs by Social Services under the Care Act. It may be that your mum could receive some additional support around the time of your exams for example. For further advice and information you may wish to contact Carers UK: https://www.carersuk.org/about-us/what-we-do
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    (Original post by George_50)
    Hi there,
    I'm currently recieving ESA's income related disability allowance. Is it possible that I could still recieve this allowance while at University, or if there are any bursaries/charities that give help to disabled students?
    Thanks
    George
    Hi George

    it is possible for students to receive income based ESA whilst they are studying, however, you will also need to be in receipt of Personal Independence Payments (PIP). For more information on the eligibility criteria please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/pip

    If you are in receipt of PIP, then most disabled students get some assistance with their rent through Housing Benefit. You should be aware that Universal Credit is being introduced across the country, details of when it will become a full service benefit in your area can be found here: https://universalcreditinfo.net/

    For a full benefits check prior to starting University you should contact your chosen University's Students' Union Advice Centre.

    In addition you can look for charitable funding using the grant search facility at www.turn2us.org.uk
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    (Original post by Charlie Skyler)
    Thank you so much for your reply. This will be my second degree and I want t do a biological sciences course (one of the exempt part time ones, so I would be able to receive the part time tuition fee loan), might there still be a possibility for a maintenance grant (as I didn't get it during my first degree), or for living expenses would I be fully reliant on housing benefit, ESA and PIP (old disability living allowance)?Thanks,Charlie
    Hi Charlie
    It is unclear at the moment what the Maintenance Funding situation will be for part time students in 18/19. If the course is an exception course for Tuition Fee's then it would stand to reason it would also be exception course for Maintenance Loan also (when it is introduced), however, I cannot guarantee this.

    I would suggest that you make contact with your chosen University's Students' Union Advice Centre around Easter when hopefully more information will have been released by the Student Loans Company.
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    Please do you have any information on what benefits will be affected when i return to study full-time, ? I currently work full-time and will continue to do so whilst studying ( At BirkBeck University), however i am currently in receipt of housing benefit, child benefit and tax credits. Please can you advise if any of these will be affected if i apply for a student loan and or maintenance loan
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    (Original post by purple1106)
    What do welfare benefits mean for students? And what sort of student is eligible for it?
    Hi

    That is a very broad question. Most full time students are not eligible for means tested benefits such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance.

    However, if a student is responsible for a child or has a disability then they may be able to receive assistance throughout the duration of their course. This may take the form of Housing Benefit towards the cost of rent, ESA / JSA or IS payments over the summer, some students even retain a small amount of these benefits during term time.

    The introduction of Universal Credit is also complicating the issue.

    Each situation is very individual and it is always best to seek independent advice. Many Students' Union Advice Centres are able to offer a full benefits check for students so you may wish to get in touch with yours.
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    I am a mature student starting in the univetsity in September 2018, I am a single mother with two young children 2 and 7 years old. One in the nursery and the other in school but will go to after school club. I am now part time working 17 hrs a week but will go bank working 16 hours or less in September. I would like to know what help I will be entitled to when starting Uni in September.
    (Original post by Student Money Week 2018)
    Got a question about what welfare benefits you could be entitled to while at Uni? Our experts are here to help.

    Please be aware all answers will be posted on Monday 12 February.
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    (Original post by lamrynx)
    Please do you have any information on what benefits will be affected when i return to study full-time, ? I currently work full-time and will continue to do so whilst studying ( At BirkBeck University), however i am currently in receipt of housing benefit, child benefit and tax credits. Please can you advise if any of these will be affected if i apply for a student loan and or maintenance loan
    Hi

    Yes when you return to study your Housing Benefit will be affected by your Maintenance Loan. How much it will be affected depends on your situation i.e. whether you have any children, single parent or have any disabilities.

    In addition you may need to consider the introduction of Universal Credit, you can find out whether you are in a full service area for this benefit here: https://universalcreditinfo.net/

    You should seek a full benefits check, BirkBeck SU Advice Centre does not appear to offer this service, however, they should be aware of a local organisation that can assist you, their contact details can be found here: https://www.birkbeckunion.org/support/advice-service
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    (Original post by Heather Stenning)
    Hi

    Yes when you return to study your Housing Benefit will be affected by your Maintenance Loan. How much it will be affected depends on your situation i.e. whether you have any children, single parent or have any disabilities.

    In addition you may need to consider the introduction of Universal Credit, you can find out whether you are in a full service area for this benefit here: https://universalcreditinfo.net/

    You should seek a full benefits check, BirkBeck SU Advice Centre does not appear to offer this service, however, they should be aware of a local organisation that can assist you, their contact details can be found here: https://www.birkbeckunion.org/support/advice-service
    Thanks for the response.

    Yes, i am a single parent of a child in school, so i also pay for childcare.

    I was thinking of applying for maintenance loan because my childcare cost will go up when i begin study, and i wasn't sure if i would be able to get more tax credits / housing benefit to help with the additional costs. if i do not apply for maintenance loan, will my housing benefit be unaffected? Does the maintenance loan help with rent payments?

    I have also checked online and Universal credit is not currently available in my area.
 
 
 
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