Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Student finance and the affect this has on ESA, SDP and PIP

j9wrightj9wright Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hi all, thanks for letting me join.
I have secured a place at uni to start in September, and awarded student finance, maintainance loan.
I currently claim income related esa, (support group) with severe disability premium, and standard rate care P.I.P
My question is (apologies if this is a frequent ask) will my esa be reduced or stopped? I have looked for answers but its all very confusing. As with many of you, i had to fight to get my esa and don't have the fight left to go through it all again if i have it removed. Thanks in advance 😊

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    You will need to report the changes to ESA because some student finance will be counted as Income for your ESA. Your student loan will not affect your PIP. If you claim housing benefit then you'll also need to report the changes to your local council.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,664 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2019
    Hi @j9wright and a warm welcome to the community!

    What course are you studying? It can also depend if you are studying full-time or part-time.

    I know your PIP won't be affected but I'd suggest speaking to an adviser from Citizens Advice (online) to find out if your benefits will changed. 

    It can be complicated to work out how much you can get when you’re studying. See examples of how your means-tested benefits can change on Disability Rights UK.

    You can find advice through organisations including Disability Rights UK and Advicelocal.

    Also, Disability Rights UK has a helpline for disabled students. It offers specific advice for disabled students studying in England.  



    Disabled Students Helpline

    Email:
    [email protected]

    Telephone: 
    0330 995 0414 

    Opening hours: 
    Tuesdays and Thursdays: 11 am to 1 pm 

    If you need anymore help then please do not hesitate to be in touch! 
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • j9wrightj9wright Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thank You Chloe, it will be a full time course, even though its only 8 hours a week!! 🤔 its (foundation entry) degree in health and social care, social sciences...trying to keep my mind active, cos thats the only part of my body that can be active 😁.

    Poppy, i am going to inform them IF i start the course, i just wanted a bit of insight as to income, i don't want to be worse off, or lose my esa entitlement altogether. I have the entitlement from housing benefit,  and know i can keep PiP, its just the esa i am having trouble u derstanding 😊
  • j9wrightj9wright Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Also, another thought, a maintenance loan is just that, a loan. It has to be repayed. So in actual fact, nothing will change apart from the fact i have "borrowed" some money 🤔, its so confusing 😂
    Maybe uni isn't for me if i cant even figure this out 🤣
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Student finance and means tested benefits is very complicated. I'd definitely advise you to ring the disabled student helpline that Chloe mentioned above and they will give you the correct advice you need.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,664 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @j9wright, 8 hours contact time for a foundation course sounds about right. With you being given work to do independently outside of this. I hope it all goes well! The disabled student helpline should be able to advise you correctly as this is very complicated. 
    Community Partner
    Scope

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    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Member Posts: 342 Pioneering
    Very good and important questions!  It is not fair but it is the case that the student loan is treated as income by DWP for ESA.  So my son (similar situation to you by the sounds of it but full-time student) gets ESA but in term time it is down to a few pence a week because of the loan, even though almost all the loan goes towards much more expensive adapted accommodation.   He does not qualify for housing benefit for various complicated reasons...mainly around the fact that where he studies has been fully UC for more than 2 years but our home area is still ESA.  There are also still real issues, as far as I know, with students qualifying for UC and the capability for work assessment...
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
     He does not qualify for housing benefit for various complicated reasons...mainly around the fact that where he studies has been fully UC for more than 2 years but our home area is still ESA.  There are also still real issues, as far as I know, with students qualifying for UC and the capability for work assessment...
    All areas are now a full UC and have been since December 2018. It's now no longer possible to make any new claims for housing benefit unless a claimant claims Severe disability premium. If they don't claim this it's universal credit that needs to be claimed for help with the rent. Still a complicated area when it comes to students and UC.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Member Posts: 342 Pioneering
    Yes technically, but if you are on ESA and not needing to make a new claim you stay on ESA until such time as your circumstances change, as in my son's case, or they deice to review it.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That's correct, i was just pointing out that all areas are now a full UC area.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • forgoodnesssakeforgoodnesssake Member Posts: 342 Pioneering
    Yes, sorry...I was a bit misleading
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