Benefits you may receive while studying

Last updated: 04/05/2022

There are a number of benefits you can apply for or continue to get while studying a course of further education.

Child Benefit Helpline

0300 200 3100 Mon – Fri, 8am – 6pm
Child benefit claim form ch2

What benefits and how much you get depends on your circumstances. These include:

  • Child Benefit
  • Scottish Child Payment and Bridging Payments
  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance,
  • Tax credits
  • Housing Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Council Tax Reduction

Child Benefit

You get Child Benefit if you are responsible for a child or young person. A child is someone who is under 16 years of age. A young person is someone who remains in full-time non-advanced education up until the age of 20.

If your income is over £50,000 you can still get Child Benefit but it will affect the amount of tax you pay.

Child Benefit weekly rates:

  • First child –  £21.80
  • Second and subsequent children –  £14.45

You can apply for child benefit on form CH2 from HM Revenue & Customs.

Scottish Child Payment and Bridging Payments

The Scottish Child Payment is £20 a week given to eligible families for each child under the age of 6.

It will be rolled out to children between the age of 6 and 16 by the end of 2022. Until then the Scottish Government will pay eligible families Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments.

The payments do not affect any other benefits you are receiving.

For more information see Scottish Child Payment and Bridging Payments.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit has replaced 6 other income related benefits.

If you do not get tax credits and Housing Benefit, or if you have to stop claiming these because of the change in your circumstances when you become a student, you may get Universal Credit to top up your bursary.

Universal Credit is paid monthly.

In order to receive Universal Credit you are usually asked to complete tasks that will help you find paid work. Students who also get a bursary from the college do not have to do these.

If you do not get a bursary you will only be able to study full-time and claim Universal Credit if you have a child under the age of 3 years. If your youngest child is 3 years or older you can study part-time and get Universal Credit but may need to look for work.

Income Support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, tax credits and Housing Benefit

These benefits have been replaced by Universal Credit and no new claims can be made for them. If you are receiving any of them when you start your course you may continue to do so, however the change in your circumstances may mean you will no longer get them or will have to claim Universal Credit instead.

See our Benefits have changed information pages.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Full-time students cannot receive income-based or new style (contribution-based) Jobseeker’s Allowance as studying limits the time they are able to look for and take up work. If you study part-time you can continue to get income-based or new style Jobseeker’s Allowance but may also have to look for work, attend interviews and take a job if offered one.

Employment and Support Allowance

Students in receipt of new style (contribution-based) Employment and Support Allowance can continue to get it while studying. Students in receipt of income-related Employment and Support Allowance can only continue to get it if they are also getting Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or if they are studying part-time.

Carer’s Allowance

Full-time students can not get Carer’s Allowance. You can get it if you study part-time but it could affect other benefits you get.

Council Tax Reduction

Full time students do not pay Council Tax unless they have other non-student adults living with them. Part-time students need to pay Council Tax but may get a discount or a Council Tax Reduction depending on their income.

For more information see Help to pay Council Tax