The Open University classed as full time by Universal Credit!? — Scope | Disability forum
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The Open University classed as full time by Universal Credit!?

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shysparkler
shysparkler Community member Posts: 26 Connected
I had a phone call today with one of the work coaches at my local job centre to discuss what I have to declare as I'm starting a part time (6 years) degree with The Open University, she said that she had a meeting a few weeks ago and that The Open University is classed as full time by Universal Credit no matter what! I will be eligible anyway because of having PIP and LCWRA but what the hell, I thought that the Open University was always classed as part time, has she got the wrong idea? Because it seems like she was very sure that's what she got told in a meeting, so bizarre...

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  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
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    That's not correct, Open University is classed as part-time in terms of normal benefit rules, even if the course states full-time. Just to check, are you expecting to receive any Maintenance Loans whilst studying?
  • shysparkler
    shysparkler Community member Posts: 26 Connected
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    bg844 said:
    That's not correct, Open University is classed as part-time in terms of normal benefit rules, even if the course states full-time. Just to check, are you expecting to receive any Maintenance Loans whilst studying?
    That's what I thought! So I'm unsure as to why she was saying it was classed as full time from her meeting... I live in Wales so I claimed the tuition fee loan, maintenance grant is classed as special support, and then I claimed the full maintenance loan amount, as I know they will deduct the full amount you're eligible for even if you claim less. So the only thing that should be deducted is the maintenance loan amount and everything else disregarded.
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,705 Scope online community team
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    Even the Open University inform you that you are part-time. Even Open University students who study full-time hours are still legally classed as part-time students. I find it odd your work coach would tell you this.

    Glad it's all cleared up though, good luck with your studies @shysparkler! I did Open University for some short courses a long time ago and they were very good.
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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,131 Disability Gamechanger
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    Deppi said:

    But be aware they count £ to £. So your full maintenance loan will be treated as income.


    That's not strictly correct. It will depend on how many months the course is for as some are either 9 or 10. There's a £110/month disregard for UC purposes. You divide the total maintenance loan over the period of months the course is for, then deduct £110/month, the remaining figure is what's deducted for each UC assessment period. https://www.uwe.ac.uk/courses/funding/full-time-undergraduate-funding/student-income-and-universal-credit

    Any disabled students allowances or special support elements/grants are fully disregarded.



    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • shysparkler
    shysparkler Community member Posts: 26 Connected
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    Deppi said:
    it is true, they will calculate the maintenance loan anyway as if you took it.

    But be aware they count £ to £. So your full maintenance loan will be treated as income.

    Now, I take note, you are from Wales and maybe there some other rules apply.

    I was at university with legacy benefits, and had to go through hell with Housing Benefit. Please make sure you know 100% what you are doing, it can mess you up.

    This is a good source for UC and Maintenance Loans:
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/get-support/information-for-your-situation/full-time-students-and-benefits/how-much-universal-credit-will-i-get#:~:text=Universal%20Credit%20will%20be%20calculated,for%20maintenance%20and%20student%20grants.
    Yes, I am expecting around a £55.63 deduction each month as my maintenance loan is £1325, and because it's over 8 assessment periods (October to May assessment period, and even though I finish June they don't count the last assessment period) so they should divide £1325 by 8 which is £165.63 and then they take £110 for expenses so the monthly deduction for my "income" should be £55.63. If it's any lower or any higher, I will suspect that the case manager has done it wrong.


    In Wales, we have a system of your parents' income gives you your maintenance grant, which then decides your maintenance loan amount, so that everyone in Wales receives the same maintenance amount, just if you are on a lower income you will be given a bigger grant which then gives you the smallest loan etc.
  • shysparkler
    shysparkler Community member Posts: 26 Connected
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    Even the Open University inform you that you are part-time. Even Open University students who study full-time hours are still legally classed as part-time students. I find it odd your work coach would tell you this.

    Glad it's all cleared up though, good luck with your studies @shysparkler! I did Open University for some short courses a long time ago and they were very good.
    Yes I was very taken aback when my work coach told me this, we held back on submitting student eligibility so as to not delay my October payment which is based off my September circumstances and I'm not a student in September. Next week I have another call with her to submit all the student finance to do's. She said that she will double check what the rule is about full time/part time. I've read everywhere that it's classed as part time. Maybe she remembered it wrong at her meeting, or what if the DWP secretly changed it and haven't publicly announced it... Don't want to scaremonger of course, I'm hoping she just made a mistake but we will see.
    Thank you the good wishes!

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