I’m a single mum of 3 thinking of relocating to Scotland. I’m Irish and the children’s Dad is Scottish – what benefits would I be able to get as a single mum going back to college?

To answer your question fully I would need to know a bit more about your circumstances, for example, is your children’s Dad living in Scotland?  This could affect your ability to claim benefits here in the UK.  Ordinarily as an EEA national you are subject to the Habitual Resident Test (HRT) and you need to be resident here in the UK for 3 months, showing an intention to stay here for an appreciable period of time, before you can apply for benefits.  However you don’t need to pass the HRT if you have a right to reside and this might be the case if you have a family member in the UK who is a worker or self-employed.  Here is a link to Citizens Advice Scotland’s website about this

If you are going to be studying, rather than working, then you would need to see if you could claim Universal Credit and how much you would get. This would depend on a few factors, like whether your course is further or higher education.  Your question isn’t easily answered but if you wanted you could call the Lone Parent Helpline on 0808 801 0323 and we could discuss it further.  Alternatively you could contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (see link above) to make an appointment to speak with someone about your status or your local council’s welfare rights department to discuss your benefit (Universal Credit) while studying.


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