Hi, my name is Paula23! — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is Paula23!

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Paula23
Paula23 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi, I am a carer for my daughter, aged 22. I had to leave work in the pandemic as I could not shield her, and since then have become a mature student at University. I was told I could not get Carers Allowance as the Degree course is full time. I dropped out of my second year in the early summer due to deteriorating health- hers and mine. I claimed Carers allowance. On informing the Carers Allowance team that I am returning to Uni, this time I was asked how many hours face to face lecturing I have to attend- it is 12 hours a week. This is below the 21 hours allowed- so it seems I can continue to get the Carers Allowance. 
My question is- what about the almost 3 years of Uni life up to this point? Can I get it backdated? This has nothing to do with a PIP claim, tribunal decision, etc, as in other posts- this is simply no one asked how long I have to go in to Uni and just stopped the money as the course is 'full time'.
Many thanks in advance for any replies

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  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
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    In this instance unfortunately CA won't be backdated, is the University bricks on water or online? 
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,705 Scope online community team
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    Hi @Paula23, welcome to the online community! I hope we can help you with your situation, I myself am waiting to go back to University someday after having to drop out due to health issues. What do you study if you don't mind me asking?

    About your current situation, I would double check with Citizen's Advice or a benefits adviser at anothe orf regarding your entitlement. All definitions of eligibility for Carer's Allowance I have seen either use the words "not full-time education" or "not studying for 21 hours a week or more". This is the opposite criteria of council tax exemption as a comparison, where to get it as a University student you must be studying more than 21 hours a week. It includes independent study not just lectures/directed study. 

    Most courses will state expected hours of studying to be much higher than lecture hours. Many full-time university courses expect 30+ hours of study.

    The reason I suggest double-checking is because I don't want you to receive this by someone on the Carer's Allowance Team making a mistake but you're still put into a position of having to pay it back.
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
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  • Paula23
    Paula23 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    Thanks for answering. I am due to get paperwork, and will go through the process, but I hear what you are both saying. Ah well, it was s nice dream!
  • Paula23
    Paula23 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    Just to add, I am studying Liberal Arts, which means anything from the Humanities curriculum, at the local, smal Uni. History, heritage and archaeology are the best for me, so I'm going down that path. As the lectures are only 12 hours a week, I can manage life at home too, so I do recommend it. You need to be below 60 at the start, to get the grant/loan for a degree or the Masters if you do progress to that level.
    Good luck with Uni if you do decide to go. I recommend it!!

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