Scytaic
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Hi! So I'm hoping to apply for full-time uni this year but the finance mixed with benefits confuses me so much.

At the moment I'm disabled and on PIP, ESA and get council tax reduction. I'll most likely be switching from ESA to UC soon. I'm also a homeowner (outright). My fear is that if I'm qualified for the maintenance loan then my benefits will stop or reduce too drastically to afford to live. I'd much rather not have it but I've read that if you're qualified then your income will get reduced whether you apply for it or not.

So I'm wondering, what happens to a disabled student's ESA/UC if they're qualified for the maintance loan?

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Scytaic; 3 weeks ago
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PQ
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ESA only allows "permitted activities" (work or study) up to 16 hours a week. If you're studying full time then you wouldn't be eligible for ESA any more

There's some exceptions but the principle of ESA is that it's for people unable to work full time and so full time study can often trigger a reassessment and will reduce your income assessed ESA
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...#guide-content
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Scytaic
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(Original post by PQ)
ESA only allows "permitted activities" (work or study) up to 16 hours a week. If you're studying full time then you wouldn't be eligible for ESA any more

There's some exceptions but the principle of ESA is that it's for people unable to work full time and so full time study can often trigger a reassessment and will reduce your income assessed ESA
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...#guide-content
Does this count for college too? I'm just wondering because I never had any problems doing full time at college with ESA.
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Scytaic
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Update: I've called student finance and they said because I'm disabled I should be fine/exempt. I called DWP and they said the same. They also said they'll email someone about it to be sure and I should receive a call today or tomorrow. I'll keep this post updated the entire time so anyone else who has this problem can have the answer too as I'm seeing a lot of people asking but lots of contradicting answers! 😅
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Scytaic
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Called the DWP back about it since they didn't call me in the end, the guy on the phone said it will affect my ESA but was very vague about how much even after I told him how much the maintenance loan is that I'm entitled to. He told me to write a letter to the DWP with all the financial info I know about it and someone will calculate it for me and get back to me. I honestly believe they'll never even see it let alone get back to me but I'm going to try. I'll also be calling citizens advice so I'll continue to update here once I do!
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glassalice
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(Original post by PQ)
ESA only allows "permitted activities" (work or study) up to 16 hours a week. If you're studying full time then you wouldn't be eligible for ESA any more

There's some exceptions but the principle of ESA is that it's for people unable to work full time and so full time study can often trigger a reassessment and will reduce your income assessed ESA
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...#guide-content
At least part of that is incorrect. I have attended full time college whilst claiming ESA.
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glassalice
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https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...nt-and-Support
OP, it appears that you can claim ESA whilst at university on a full time course if you are also claiming PIP.
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PQ
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(Original post by glassalice)
At least part of that is incorrect. I have attended full time college whilst claiming ESA.
"There's some exceptions"
:indiff:
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Scytaic
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(Original post by glassalice)
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...nt-and-Support
OP, it appears that you can claim ESA whilst at university on a full time course if you are also claiming PIP.
Thank you! My problem is though, that even though I can still claim it, I've been told that it will still affect it and I can't seem to find any more info past that.
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Scytaic
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I finally got the answer! So basically, however much your maintenance loan is (or just parts of it apparently), that will be taken from your ESA. So like for example, if your ESA is £100 a week and your maintenance is £50 a week, then your ESA will now be £50. It goes back to normal during the summer holidays. Also, as a disabled student, you're entitled to other loans or things you don't have to pay back so in some ways you're actually better off financially. But either way, you'll never be worse off, only the same or better. I hope this helps anyone else who is in my situation as this confusion and not being able to find any clear answers anywhere, is the reason I haven't been able to attend uni for 5 years now...!
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