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Benefits - Eligibility

Am I eligible to claim benefits while studying?

The information that follows is intended for guidance only. There are strict rules for each benefit regarding eligibility.

The majority of full-time students cannot claim benefits.  If you are a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate you will not usually be able to claim any other benefits during your course of study, however, you may still be entitled to claim if you:

  • are a lone parent
  • have a disability
  • have a student partner and a child, and it is the summer vacation
  • are a pensioner

If you have a child/children under the age of 18 (or 20 if they are still in full time education) you may be able to claim child benefit and tax credits.

There is some information about eligibility and what benefits you may be able to claim while you are a student on the Turn2us website.

Non-student partners may be entitled to claim benefits at any time, but the student loan will be taken into account as income.

Lone Parents

Following changes to the rules for Income Support in effect from 25 October 2010, lone parents whose youngest child is under 5 may be able to claim Income Support during the summer vacation. Students whose youngest child is 5 to 15 years old may be able to claim Jobseekers' Allowance during the summer vacation. There are exceptions for those with a child in receipt of certain rates of DLA (Disability Living Allowance).

Please contact your local Jobcentre Plus for information. Funding and benefits information for lone parents will be different for part-time students or postgraduate students.

Gingerbread have produced a fact sheet for lone parents called Money for higher education students.

UK students who have been assessed for all the statutory support they are entitled to and who can show they have made reasonable provision to fund their studies may be able to apply to the Access to Learning Fund if they are in financial hardship during their studies.

If you would like a benefit/funding check please contact Student Support or Citizens Advice Bureau.

Further Guidance

on our website:

Information, advice and guidance is available from the Citizens Advice Bureau. There is information on their website or you could call in to your local branch.

You can check your eligibility for benefits and read more information on the gov.uk website.

If you have questions about how your student funding affects your benefits you can contact Student Support.

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