Benefits you may receive while studying
Last updated: 01/06/2021
There are a number of benefits you can apply for or continue to get while studying a course of further education.
What benefits and how much you get depends on your circumstances. These include:
- Child benefit
- Universal credit
- Income support
- Jobseeker’s allowance,
- Tax credits
- Housing benefit
- Employment and support allowance
- Carer’s allowance
- Council tax reduction
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 – £21.15
- Second and subsequent children – £14.00
You can apply for child benefit on form CH2 from HM Revenue & Customs.
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 get a bursary 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 still 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These benefits have been replaced by universal credit and no new claims can be made for them.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.
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.
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.
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 reduction depending on their income.