Although most full-time students are not
entitled to social security benefits, certain students in
vulnerable groups (including single parents and disabled students)
may be eligible for social security benefits including Housing
Benefit. If you want to take a full-time course of education, you
should ask your local Jobcentre Plus office how
this may affect your benefits, or contact the Student Advice team.
Although most full-time higher education
students are not entitled to income-related benefits, certain
groups may be able to make a claim.
The full rules are listed in the Income
Support and Housing Benefit regulations. But as a general guide,
you may be able to claim income-related benefits if you:
- are a lone parent
- have a partner who is also a student - and one or both of you
are responsible for a child
- have a disability, and qualify for the disability premium or
severe disability premium
And there are certain other groups who may be
eligible - for example, people who have been treated as
incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks.
If you have a partner who is not a student and
they’re eligible for any income-related benefits, your partner can
claim on behalf of you both.
Part-time students in higher education can
also apply for income-related benefits if they’re on a low income
and meet the relevant conditions. They don’t have to fall within
one of the particular groups listed in the Income Support or
Housing Benefit regulations.
Which income-related benefits might you be able to claim?
If you fall into one of the groups described
above, whether you can get income-related benefits will depend on
your personal circumstances - including your income and how much
you have in savings.
Income-related benefits you may be able to
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance
- Council Tax Benefit
If you’re studying full time, you may be able
to claim Jobseeker's Allowance during the summer holiday if:
- you're a lone parent
- you have a partner who is also a full-time student, and one or
both of you is responsible for a child or young person, and
- you’re available for and actively seeking work
You may also be able to claim if you’re
waiting to go back to a course, having taken approved time out for
a period of up to one year because of an illness or caring
responsibility that has now come to an end.
If you’re studying part-time, you may be able
to claim Jobseeker's Allowance if you are:
- out of work or working less than 16 hours a week on
- capable of working
- available for work
- actively seeking work
- below retirement age
Normally, you must also be aged 18 or over.
You must be willing to go to a job interview, even if you have to
take time off from your course. You should also be prepared to
rearrange your hours of study to fit around a job.
Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance
Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support
Allowance (ESA) are sources of support for people with an illness
or disability that affects their ability to work. If you already
claim one of these benefits, you may be able to carry on getting it
as a student.
If you are eligible for benefits, Jobcentre
Plus will take account of any income you receive through loans (and
some grants) under the main student support arrangements.
If you are eligible for a loan, Jobcentre
Plus will take account of the money available to you
whether or not you take it out. If your partner is
eligible for benefits, Jobcentre Plus will take account of your
student income in the same way when they work out his or her
benefits. They do not take account of support towards your tuition
fees. The Childcare Grant and Parents' Learning Allowance are not
taken into account for benefit purposes. Payments from the Access
to Learning Fund that are not intended for general living costs
should also be ignored for benefit purposes.
Students with children are entitled to claim
Child Tax Credit. Student loans and grants to meet the costs of
tuition fees, childcare and other course-related costs are not
treated as income in new claims for tax credits. However, the Adult
Dependants' Grant will be taken into account as income.
To qualify for Working Tax Credit you must be
in paid work so, in general, students will not be able to claim
this credit unless they are responsible for looking after a child
or young person or are disabled and are doing at
least 16 hours a week of paid work. Mature students who are working
in a paid job for more than 30 hours a week may also be
- visit the website at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/taxcredits
- call the helpline on 0845 300 3900 (textphone 0845 300 3909);
- drop into your local Inland Revenue Enquiry Centre (listed
under Inland Revenue in the Phone Book)