Students and benefits
This section provides a general overview of student entitlement to benefits. It covers:
- Part-time students and benefits
- Full-time students who can claim benefits
It does not cover every circumstance nor every benefit and should be used for guidance only. Please contact the Student Advice Service for detailed information and advice about your specific circumstances.
Can students get benefits?
Part-time students are eligible to claim Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance and Council Tax Benefit subject to the normal rules relevant to these benefits. However, part-time study could affect your availability for full-time work for Jobseekers Allowance purposes and may trigger a review of your employment support allowance, therefore you should seek advice if you intend to study part-time and claim Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance.
Am I on a full-time or a part-time course?
Whether your course is classified as full or part-time depends on many factors, including the university definition, the amount of modules taken, the number of hours of study, or whether you can choose to attend the course on a full or part-time basis.
To get a definitive answer about your status you will need to contact the Registry department.
As a general rule if you are a single, full-time student with no disability or dependants you cannot claim Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Housing Benefit throughout your course, including the vacation period.
You continue to be treated as a full-time student during industrial placements even if you have not been able to find a placement or your placement ends early.
Full-time students who CAN claim benefits
Some full-time students will continue to be entitled to benefits despite studying on a full-time course. To do so you must fall into any of these categories:
You are a student with dependants
- A single parent or foster parent with a child under 7 (from October 2010)
- Single parent who is no longer eligible for Income Support can claim Job Seekers Allowance over the summer vacation
- One of a couple both in full-time study with dependants (you can claim Jobseekers Allowance in the summer vacations only)
- You have a partner who is not a student (the non-student must make the claim)
You are a student with a disability
- You are a disabled student and can satisfy certain qualifying conditions
- Are incapable of work for 28 weeks (Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance only)
- You receive Disabled Students' Allowance for deafness (Housing Benefit and Local Housing Allowance only)
You or your partner are aged over 60
You are a student from abroad able to claim an urgent cases payment because you are temporarily without funds.