Benefits and tax credits

If you're ordinarily resident in the UK you may be able to claim some benefits.  Some full-time UK students as well as all part-time UK students may have access to state benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Carer's Allowance, Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. 

Full-time students

Students who have children or have a disability may have access to benefits while studying. See below for more information.

Full-time students don't have to pay Council Tax, as long as everyone in the household is a full-time student. See our information on Council Tax.

Part-time students

If you are a part-time student, not already in receipt of benefits you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit while studying as long as you meet the work-related requirements. If you are disabled or have children, you may be eligible for further benefits. See below for details.

Disabled students

If you have difficulty or need help with mobility or daily living tasks because of disability or a long term health condition, you maybe eligible for the following:

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a non means-tested benefit, so any student income you receive will not affect the amount of PIP you receive. Read more about PIP (gov.uk).

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

If you are already in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) you will usually be able to continue to claiming this while you are studying. DLA is being phased out, so existing DLA claimants between the ages 16 and 64 are gradually being asked to claim PIP instead. 

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You can claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance even if you are a full time student, as long as you have limited capability for work. You can only make a new claim if you have made the required National Insurance contributions.

If you're already getting PIP (or DLA) as well as Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) you may be able to continue to claim while studying full time. However, if you are moving to the York area to study, you may need to make a new claim for Universal Credit instead. It is very important to contact the Student Support and Advice Team before making changes to this benefit. 

Part-time students do not have to be in receipt of PIP (or DLA) in order to remain eligible for this benefit while studying. You cannot make a new claim for Income-related ESA it if you live in a Universal Credit area, unless you’ve been eligible for the Severe Disability Premium within the past month.

Housing Benefit

If you already receive Housing Benefit you may continue to be eligible while studying. If you are studying full time, please check your eligibility with a Student Adviser. If you are moving to the York area you would need to apply for Universal Credit instead. 

Universal Credit

If you were getting PIP (or DLA) and you have been assessed to have limited capability for work or limited capability for a work-related activity, you can continue to claim Universal Credit as a full-time student. It is very important to contact the Student Support and Advice Team before making a claim.

 

Carers

Do you look after someone else? If you study less than 21 hours per week, you can claim Carer's Allowance but, if not, you should still make sure the person you look after claims the benefits they are entitled to. If you are studying full time, you cannot claim Carer’s Allowance. See more information on Carer's Allowance (carersuk.org).

 

Students with partners

If you live with a partner who is also a full time student or unemployed you may be eligible to claim Universal Credit. If you are not entitled to it during term time your entitlement may change in the summer vacation.

Students with children

If you are a UK student with a dependant child, you may be eligible for the following:

Child Benefit

If you are a UK student with a dependent child you will usually be eligible for Child Benefit while you are studying, providing no one else receives this benefit in respect of your child. See more information on Child Benefit (gov.uk).

Child Tax Credit

If you are already in receipt of Child Tax Credit or you are not required to make a new claim for Universal Credit, you may be eligible to claim this while studying full time. Most student income is disregarded when working out your entitlement, but earnings are always taken into account. If you have a partner, their income will also be taken into account. See more information on Child Tax Credit (gov.uk).

Housing Benefit

If you have a dependent child and already receive Housing Benefit you may continue to be eligible while studying. If you are moving area, or if you are claiming for the first time, you will usually be required to make a claim Universal Credit instead. Please check whether you are eligible to claim Housing Benefit (gov.uk).

Universal Credit

If you are a part-time student you can claim Universal Credit if you meet the general eligibility requirements (gov.uk). Unless you have limited capability for work and work related activity, you will have some work related requirements. If you pay rent or have a mortgage you may be eligible for help towards housing costs as well as money for living costs.

If you are a full time student you can only claim if:

  • you have responsibility for a child who lives with you, or
  • you receive PIP (or DLA) and you have limited capability for work.

You cannot claim the childcare element of Universal Credit in addition to any other grant towards childcare costs.

Working Tax Credit

You may be able to make a claim or continue to claim Working Tax Credit if you are not required to make a new claim for Universal Credit and you are:

  • a lone parent and work more than 16 hours per week, or
  • you are part of a couple with children working at least 24 hours per week between you (one person must work at least 16 hours per week).

If you are eligible for Working Tax Credit you may also be eligible for help with childcare costs. You cannot claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credit in addition to any other grant towards childcare costs.

Contact

If you think you are eligible for any of the benefits listed, contact the Student Support and Advice Team for further information. If you are eligible, they may also be able to provide a estimate of how much you are likely to receive.