Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Maintenance loan and IR ESA

lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
I have a dilemma with starting a part time degree with the open university in October. I am on IR ESA and seen on here that they can stop this if you are eligible for a maintenance loan via student finance.
i have just spoken to a lovely lady on the helpline, who is going to come back to me with more information.
Is there anyone else in the same situation on this community?

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,134 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome @lisa86 I dont know the answer to your query I just wanted to say hi.

    I will tag in another member who will be able to help with your query @poppy123456 can you advise here please
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,998

    Scope community team

    edited July 2020
    Hi @lisa86, it's correct that a maintenance loan is counted as income, so it can affect your IR ESA. However, if it's just a loan for course fees, this wouldn't have any effect.

    Hopefully someone will be by who might have experience of this. In the meantime you're very welcome here. What are you hoping to study?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    janer1967 said:
    Hi and welcome @lisa86 I dont know the answer to your query I just wanted to say hi.

    I will tag in another member who will be able to help with your query @poppy123456 can you advise here please

  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    All i can add here is that if a maintenance loan is available to you it will be counted as income, even if you decide not to take it.
    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.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thank you for your answers and assistance.
    inused the benefits calculator and included the student course fee and maintenance loan and it said that I am still eligible for a reduced amount of ESA and then said I would be better off changing to universal credit.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I am confused, is the course fee counted as income?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    A benefits calculator is only as good as the information you put into them. They wouldn't acknowledge a student loan amount. I can only assume you put it in as "other income" Maintenance loans do affect means tested benefits, as previously advised, even if you decide not to take the loan.

    The course fees are not counted as income.

    Universal Credit is a means tested benefit and maintenance loans affect those in the same way they affect IR ESA.
    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.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Yes, I put in the maintenance loan and the course fee.
    My income low as I only work 11 hours a week in permitted work
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Permitted work doesn't affect your ESA but maintenance loans can. I'd advise you to get some expert advice regarding this.
    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.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I did have a chat with an advisor late yesterday. I am aware maintenance loans can affect ESA that’s why I put I. The maintenance loan amount t into the extra income I. The benefits calculator 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Then i don't under what your question is.
    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.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    my question was if the maintenance loan was a small amount , could I keep the ESA
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Very unlikely. As has already been advised, maintenance loans affect means tested benefits.
    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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    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.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thank you for the really useful link
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome.
    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.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    I have spoken to the DWP this
     morning, and after 1 1/2 hours of being in hold I finally got through.
    They have given me permission to study with the maintenance loan for study costs and keep my ESA, due
    ti my serious medical conditions and situation, and the course is part time at home online.
    They said if you are studying full time, it would affects benefits.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    A maintenance loan for course fees? Or do you mean a loan for course fees? There's a difference here.

    I don't understand the advice about the serious illness. A maintenance loan for anything other than course fees is classed as income and will affect the amount of ESA you're entitled to, regardless of what your condition is.
    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.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    maintenance loan for
    course fee isn’t counted and they told
    me  the small maintenance loan for course related costs wouldn’t either.
    I would like to end the discussion now as this has caused me endless stress, upset and worry.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry it's caused you alot of stress. I'm just simply stating the rules and answering the question you asked. It has been known many times for advisers from DWP to give completely incorrect advice and it concerns me that this is what's happening here.
    A maintenance loan affect means tested benefits.
    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.
  • lisa86lisa86 Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thank you for your help Poppy
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