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Thread: University Student Benefits

  1. #1
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    University Student Benefits

    Hello, I'm starting/just started University. I currently receive £755.14 UC and £608.60 PIP. I have also just got my student finance loan = £9,250.00 for the university course. Also a maintenance loan of £9,490.00 (of which the special support element equals (4,014.00)

    Studies are currently at University (possibly move to online if we go in to lockdown again) i currently commute from my parents house but I have been looking daily for suitable accommodation to move closer but as yet i haven't been able to secure a flat.


    My questions are,

    1. will I be able to claim housing benefit (or UC equivalent)
    2. how much is the university loan going to affect my universal credit?
    3. If as a result of my loans, my UC goes down to £0, will I still qualify for housing benefit?

    I'm afraid I won't be able to afford to continue my studies so I need to check before I continue any further with looking for accommodation and if I can indeed afford to stay at university.

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    UC as a full time student is one of the always complicated areas.

    Your UC rate tells me that you are single, over 25, and have LCWRA in your UC.

    As a disabled student, with PIP and with LCW/LCWRA already in UC before you start the course then you are entitled to UC as a full time disabled student.
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universa...ying-full-time
    (If you didn't already have LCW/LCWRA it would be different).

    To answer #2 first:

    Student finance, (loans, grants, bursaries in particular) can be fraught with complications when it comes to UC.

    Finance for tuition fees and study costs does not affect UC, but student finance for living expenses, bills, rent, is deductible from UC.
    So it depends just what each part of each loan/grant/finance is for.
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universa...iversal-credit
    see also: https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/St...iversal-Credit

    You say that you have already started the course, so you should have already informed UC of that but have you given them details of the finance?
    You should give full details of exactly what each part is called, where it's from, and how they are made up, not just how much they are for in total.
    If you just give totals they will deduct the lot.

    (I'm guessing here but 'Maintenance Loan' sounds like it's for living costs not tuition so would probably be deductable from UC - but because of the 'special support element' you should have that checked, see below for General advice).

    #1 & #3:

    You cannot make a new claim for Housing Benefit unless you are in temporary (emergency) accommodation, exempt (supported) accommodation, or are a pensioner.
    Everyone else has to claim the Housing Element of UC instead, or get the HE added to an existing UC claim by reporting that you are now liable to pay rent.
    UC will want to see your tenancy agreement or other proof that you are liable to pay rent.

    If you move to live in rented accommodation then a Housing Element can be added to your UC, but it would still be subject to any deductions like the rest of the UC entitlement

    Note also that any Housing Element you can get for a private rental will be capped at the 'One bedroom rate' of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for the area where the property is. (If your were under 35 and not disabled then it would be the lower 'Shared rate' of LHA).
    If the actual rent is higher than 1-bed LHA rate then you will have to make up the difference. (If it's lower than LHA then you only get the actual rent).

    General advice:

    As said it's a bit of a specialist area, especially when it comes to the different types of finance/loans/grants and how they affect UC.

    Probably your best source of advice and help will be the university itself. - They will have a disabled student support team who will be familiar with all your questions, and with just what type(s) of student finance you have and just how it will affect UC.
    Ring them and ask.

    There is also a national disabled students helpline:
    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/h...dents-helpline

    Best of luck with the studies.

    PS. Your PIP payments are not affected by any of the above.
    Last edited by nukecad; 28-10-21 at 06:43.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  3. #3
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    UC as a full time student is one of the always complicated areas.

    Your UC rate tells me that you are single, over 25, and have LCWRA in your UC.

    As a disabled student, with PIP and with LCW/LCWRA already in UC before you start the course then you are entitled to UC as a full time disabled student.
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universa...ying-full-time
    (If you didn't already have LCW/LCWRA it would be different).

    To answer #2 first:

    Student finance, (loans, grants, bursaries in particular) can be fraught with complications when it comes to UC.

    Finance for tuition fees and study costs does not affect UC, but student finance for living expenses, bills, rent, is deductible from UC.
    So it depends just what each part of each loan/grant/finance is for.
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universa...iversal-credit
    see also: https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/St...iversal-Credit

    You say that you have already started the course, so you should have already informed UC of that but have you given them details of the finance?
    You should give full details of exactly what each part is called, where it's from, and how they are made up, not just how much they are for in total.
    If you just give totals they will deduct the lot.

    (I'm guessing here but 'Maintenance Loan' sounds like it's for living costs not tuition so would probably be deductable from UC - but because of the 'special support element' you should have that checked, see below for General advice).

    #1 & #3:

    You cannot make a new claim for Housing Benefit unless you are in temporary (emergency) accommodation, exempt (supported) accommodation, or are a pensioner.
    Everyone else has to claim the Housing Element of UC instead, or get the HE added to an existing UC claim by reporting that you are now liable to pay rent.
    UC will want to see your tenancy agreement or other proof that you are liable to pay rent.

    If you move to live in rented accommodation then a Housing Element can be added to your UC, but it would still be subject to any deductions like the rest of the UC entitlement

    Note also that any Housing Element you can get for a private rental will be capped at the 'One bedroom rate' of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for the area where the property is. (If your were under 35 and not disabled then it would be the lower 'Shared rate' of LHA).
    If the actual rent is higher than 1-bed LHA rate then you will have to make up the difference. (If it's lower than LHA then you only get the actual rent).

    General advice:

    As said it's a bit of a specialist area, especially when it comes to the different types of finance/loans/grants and how they affect UC.

    Probably your best source of advice and help will be the university itself. - They will have a disabled student support team who will be familiar with all your questions, and with just what type(s) of student finance you have and just how it will affect UC.
    Ring them and ask.

    There is also a national disabled students helpline:
    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/h...dents-helpline

    Best of luck with the studies.

    PS. Your PIP payments are not affected by any of the above.

    Thank you so much for this information it is very much appreciated. I will upload the Uni finance letter in to my UC journal today, I was scared they would totally stop all my benefits because of the loans from Uni and then not pay the rent on a flat if i signed a tenancy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It may still affect your UC payments.

    Which is why you should contact the uni team to help check that anything UC do is correct - It is complicated and UC could take something into account that they shouldn't, so get the calculations wrong and deduct too much (or too little).

    You do have to inform the DWP of changes to your finances like this.
    If it does affect your UC then it's better to tell them now and find out, rather than not do it and maybe then have a large overpayment to pay back.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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