Open University and Beneifts — Scope | Disability forum
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Open University and Beneifts

Julia21 Community member Posts: 11 Connected
Hello. Any advice appreciated please _ son has dropped out of uni as, recently diagnosed, epilepsy worsening. Is 19 and was hoping to start uni again next sept (when 20). However seizures have got worse so unfortunately don't think he could realistically move out at current time due to
support needs.
He is very academically bright and very good at maths. He wants to sign up for maths degree and thinks open university might be good idea as can do it to his health timetable - get loads done when well and take a break when poorly.
Am just wondering if he'd be entitled to student finance for tuition fee loans/costs? Also he has PIP but no other benefits - I (mum) work but obviously it's expensive feeding / clothing him on ongoing basis on one salary and just wonder if he's eligible to apply for any other support? He would work but seizures/risk is difficult - a lot of local employers have suggested concerns. He wants to get skilled with degree so he can work from home etc and have more flexible working pattern - if possible. 
I've never claimed benefits and no history of disability in family so not sure what, if anything, he could look at etc.
Many thanks 


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 49,769 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 16
    He can apply for a tution fee lone for Open University. I don't know if he will be entitled to any maintenance loan on top of that because OU is usually part time, rather than full time.

    He can look into applying for a Disabled Students Allowance, (DSA) but it will depend on what course he's doing. More information here. If entitled then this won't affect the Universal Credit if he claims it.

    If he's a part time student he maybe able to claim Universal Credit in his own right. He should report his health condition when he claims, provided by fit note (sick note) within 7 days of that. He will need to continue to provide them until a decision is made on the work capability assessment.

    If he claims UC he will need to make sure he tells them he's a part time student. Full time students can only usually claim UC in very specific circumstances.

    He can also ring the disabled student helpline for advice because students and UC are complicated. Telephone: 0330 995 0414

    If there's a student maintenance loan available to him it will affect any UC entitlement, even if he doesn't take that loan.

    Having said all that, for Uni this year, did he have a student maintenance loan?

    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.
  • Julia21
    Julia21 Community member Posts: 11 Connected
    @poppy123456 thanks so much for all your really helpful advice.
    Son had 1 years loan and maintenance for 2022/23 but was unable to return this year due to his epilepsy. 
    Will explore OU options and costs with student finance and also the disabled helplines you kindly provided and see if there's any option for universal credit. Thanks again. 


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