Part-time students have the same access to benefits as non-students, but a change in circumstances can still affect your benefits - for example if your income changes, or you change your hours at work to fit with your studies. If you are studying part-time and would like information about whether you are entitled to benefits, or if you are considering starting a part-time course and want to check whether, or how, your benefits may change, ASK can help you work this out.
The eligibility rules for full-time students are complicated, and an enquiry at the Jobcentre will often result in the stock answer that "full time students can't get benefits". However, it is worth double-checking, as there are limited situations in which full-time students can, in fact, claim benefits.
As a rule of thumb, you may be entitled to benefits as a full-time student if you are:
- A lone parent (benefits differ depending on the age of your youngest child);
- In receipt of any award of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Again, benefits available differ according to what rate you receive;
- In receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) for deafness;
- Part of a couple, both of whom are full-time students and have care of a child under 16 (or under 19 in full-time education).
If you think that you might be entitled to benefits and would like to discuss this further, Caroline or Nicola will be able to go through potential entitlement with you, and help you decide if claiming benefits is an option for you.
If you want to apply for Jobseekers' Allowance over the summer as a lone parent or as part of a student couple with children, and you get told you're not able to because you're a full-time student, downloand the handy letter (at the bottom of this page) and take it to the Jobcentre, and you should be able to claim! You can claim up to three months in advance.
Changes to Benefits
If you are already receiving benefits, you may be aware that there have been recent changes, particularly to Income Support and Incapacity Benefit. There are also major reforms to the benefits system being planned by the Coalition Government.
If you have any concerns about your current entitlement, or if you are not sure how the changes will affect you, please call in to ASK and Caroline and Nicola will be able to talk through this with you.
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