Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Part time study?

lottiekinslottiekins Member Posts: 7 Connected

I have been onESA going on 3 years, and am in the support group at the moment. I struggle with pretty much most aspects of my care, and require 25 hours of care a week from social services (3 calls a day and a further 13 hours in direct payments).

Although I struggle hugely with pain, fatigue and brain fog, I am really struggling with being off sick, and its making me extremely depressed. I know I couldn't cope with work, but study is something that I feel I could attempt part time - how successful I will be, I don't know.

My question is weather my ESA will likely be affected by this decision? I am petrified that the DWP will see this as a sign I could work, but it really isn't.

I would have the choice of either studying with the OU or at a local university - but due to dyslexia, i feel that face to face contact of a local uni would actually be more beneficial. I am aware that all lectures are recorded, so am likely to be able to arrange to have these in place when I am too unwell to get into uni, and other support for both learning and physical issues. Would signing up to either of these affect ESA more then the other?

I don't want to risk loosing my income, but I am finding it very hard to cope with having no way of moving myself forward. I know I may never be well enough to work, but I need something to give me a reason to live.

any advice and support would be appreciated xx


  • atlas46atlas46 Member Posts: 827 Pioneering
    Hi @lottiekins

    Sounds like a good idea, why not contact direct a local university, that you fancy studying at.  They all should have disabled students advice services. You can explain about your potential needs.

    Not sure about tuition fees.

    With this background information, you will be better placed in dealing with ESA.

    Let us know how you get on or if you need further details.

    Good luck.
  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
  • atlas46atlas46 Member Posts: 827 Pioneering
    Hi again

    Try calling Disability Rights UK, Disabled Students helpline on tel: 0330 995 0414.

    I am sure they will be able to help you.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi Lottie,

    If you are receiving DLA or PIP then you can continue to claim ESA whilst a full-time student. If your course is only part-time then you need not be in receipt of DLA/PIP.

    The only thing to watch out for, is whether your activity of attending the course calls into question the basis for which you meet the criteria for the Support Group - this will depend on the reasons for which you are awarded benefit.

    Hope this helps.

    Kind regards,


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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