disabled students UC: term vs vac — Scope | Disability forum
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disabled students UC: term vs vac

quinq Member Posts: 10 Listener
edited July 2020 in Universal Credit (UC)
Hi hi, 

I know I just made a post about UC but this is a separate issue really. If a disabled student has managed to get on UC, they take into account your student loan and/or grant as income, but only during the academic year. If you have a big student loan or a small UC entitlement, or a partner's income, etc, it's entirely possible to be entitled to £500 a month when student income isn't taken into account, but £0 when it is. So, what happens for those 9 months of the year when you get nothing from UC? Does your claim end? Do you have to start a whole new one in the summer, with the waiting period and the new assessment periods and stuff?

A worked example (visual table below if it helps); if your assessment period is 22nd - 11th and your term starts on the 6th October, you have student income from the assessment period 22nd Sep - 11th Oct onwards. Until the period in which the longest break in studies begins; say your final term ends 18th May, you have "student income" until 21st May, in the eyes of UC. So that leaves you with 8 assessment periods with student income taken off your UC.

Since normally you can only do a simple re-apply within 6 months of your final UC payment, what happens now, 8 months later? Starting all over again and having your income reassessed all over again seems light an absolute nightmare, not just for us but for them as well! The whole student income thing is obscenely complicated and if the assessment periods change, it changes!

Anyone have experience with this? 


  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,153 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @quinq

    Good Evening & Welcome it’s good to meet you today.

    I am one of the Community Champion’s here at Scope.

    Sorry to read about your current problems.

    I will forward your post onto our senior team for there input.

     Hi @Adrian_Scope @Chloe_Scope

    Can you please have a good look over this post for me!!!!!!!!!

    Many thanks.


  • quinq
    quinq Member Posts: 10 Listener
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @quinq, being a student on benefits can make things more complicated. However, disability rights UK have a dedicated helpline which specialise in this area.

    0330 995 0414

    Opening hours: 11am-1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Please do let us know how you get on. :)

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,578 Scope online community team
    edited July 2020
    Hi @quinq
    While waiting for your WCA, it would be advisable to keep reopening your claim for UC each month, even if you know it'll currently be a zero award to help with the backdating. If you've been awarded LCWRA by the time you start University and it still closes your claim you need to be sure there is not longer than 6 months/6 assessment periods between claims else you'll need to restart the LCWRA process.

    Just to add, they don't always close when an award is zero because of income (they stopped that during COVID) and even if yours does, there's nothing stopping you reopening it each month to keep the same AP, even if you know it'll result in a zero award. You're right in that if you wait 8 months, your claim will restart and your assessment period and pay date from UC will change.
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