The Student Room Group

PHD Stipends and Carers Allowance

Hi, this is a bit niche, so I'm not expecting 100s of replies! I'm a carer in receipt of Carers Allowance and looking to apply for studentships to start a part-time PHD.

In order to receive Carers Allowance I can't earn over £130 a week after tax, and a living expenses stipend would take me just over this limit. I know a stipend is not classed as earnings from employment so is not taxable, but I am getting conflicting answers on Google as to whether it is counted as earnings when the DWP assess your income for Carers Allowance.

If there are any other PHD students who are also carers out there I'd love to get a clear answer, as whether I get Carers Allowance will affect my ability to get by for the six years.
Original post by KerryME
Hi, this is a bit niche, so I'm not expecting 100s of replies! I'm a carer in receipt of Carers Allowance and looking to apply for studentships to start a part-time PHD.

In order to receive Carers Allowance I can't earn over £130 a week after tax, and a living expenses stipend would take me just over this limit. I know a stipend is not classed as earnings from employment so is not taxable, but I am getting conflicting answers on Google as to whether it is counted as earnings when the DWP assess your income for Carers Allowance.

If there are any other PHD students who are also carers out there I'd love to get a clear answer, as whether I get Carers Allowance will affect my ability to get by for the six years.

I'm in a similar boat and have come here for the same information. Did you find out anymore information?
Reply 2
Original post by Gabbinonya
I'm in a similar boat and have come here for the same information. Did you find out anymore information?


I'm afraid not - I'm guessing it may be a question for the DWP directly, although I haven't pursued this as I've had to put my PHD plans on hold for a year due to illness. I did find out that getting a postdoctoral loan from Student Finance keeps you under the threshold though.
Reply 3
If the above two posters are still on the forum, could you let me know the outcome of your situation.

I'm in the process of trying to have this scenario recognised by the many advice agencies, so any feedback would be very welcome.
Reply 4
Original post by Phdphobia
If the above two posters are still on the forum, could you let me know the outcome of your situation.

I'm in the process of trying to have this scenario recognised by the many advice agencies, so any feedback would be very welcome.

I am going to contact the DWP next month once my MA dissertation deadline is done and dusted. I used to work in an independent advice centre, and even though I wasn't a benefits adviser, I think this scenario is specialist level, so CAB probably wouldn't be able to help. Maybe a law centre but they would be taking on cases rather than providing quick advice.

Hopefully one of us will get a clear answer at some point!

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