Full time students are not usually entitled to any means tested Welfare Benefits.
There are some exceptions, so if you are the lone parent of a child under 5, you may be entitled to Income Support. If you are a lone parent and your youngest child is above this age limit, you may be able to claim Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) during the summer vacation.
You can qualify for Housing Benefit (HB) if you are a lone parent with a dependent child or qualifying young person under 20. You can also be entitled to HB if you and your partner are both full time students and you have a dependent child, if you are in receipt of a disability benefit or if you are certified as severely sight-impaired or blind. One of you may also make a joint claim for Jobseekers’ Allowance in the summer vacation.
If you are already in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you should be able to continue your claim whilst studying. You are also entitled to make a new claim for PIP to assist with any day-to-day living or mobility problems. If you are in receipt of either DLA or PIP you may, in certain circumstances, also be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). If you were already in receipt of ESA, prior to becoming a student, you may still be able to continue your claim.
If you are a part time student you may be entitled to some benefits if you meet the qualifying conditions.
In the last few years, the government has been introducing a new inclusive benefit called Universal Credit (UC) that replaces six existing benefits: JSA, ESA, IS, HB, Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. It is still being rolled out in stages across the country and eligibility for UC will depend upon where your claim is registered and whether you are single or living with a partner. The Department of Work & Pensions has produced a map showing Universal Credit availability.
If you are claiming another benefit, you should continue to do so.
If you think you may be entitled to any Welfare Benefit or have a problem with your existing one, contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre.
Last updated : January 2015