Full Time Study & ESA — Scope | Disability forum
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Full Time Study & ESA

I'm currently receiving the new style ESA after getting ill at work but I recently started studying (literally within the past 2 weeks) as a full-time student at university. I've applied for student finance and DSA but as I applied for the wrong year - I had to reset my application. Student finance is taking between 6 to 8 weeks to process it and even then, I'm not entirely sure everything will go right (I have the worst luck when it comes to admin). 

I'm not sure if I'm still entitled to it or what I should do. I do need some sort of funding for basics - such as food and rent. My partner is working but a lot of his income goes on paying off debt. We will be okay when/if student finance comes in but in the meantime - we do need funding to live.



  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,462 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2020
    Hi and welcome,

    Being a full time student doesn't affect your claim for New style ESA and neither does any student loan because NsESA is not means tested.

    Do be aware though that if being a student contradicts the reasons why you're claiming ESA then it can go a against when any decision on a work capability assessment is made.

    Do also bear in mind that NsESA is only paid for 1 year unless you're placed into the Support Group and then it's paid for as long as you remain entitled to it.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,195

    Scope community team

    Welcome to the community @Ophelia_Rose! I hope you've found the above advice useful.

    How are you finding university? 
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  • Ophelia_Rose
    Ophelia_Rose Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you Poppy! That's really helpful. :) Going to university was a bit of a gamble as I've been off work for over a year with anxiety and depression. I've also recently been given an autism diagnosis. All my traits were overlooked as BPD and trauma growing up so actually having a diagnosis is pretty strange.

    I really hope I'll be able to pull through and not fall flat on my face like the last 6 jobs. :neutral:

    Thank you, Tori! University is kinda hard but I think I'm doing okay. I'm exploring the concept of "executive function" which I've always have had trouble with but now I've put a name to it. As DSA is linked to student finance - I haven't been offered an appointment yet to see how the uni can help me with stuff linked to that. I've approached the disability department and they have made some notes but they can't make a move till the DSA has approved the funding.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,195

    Scope community team

    I'm glad you've finally got a diagnosis that hopefully feels right, if a little strange @Ophelia_Rose :)

    It's good to hear you're learning more about executive functioning too. The National Autistic Society have a page on Organising and Prioritising that you might find helpful to read? There's plenty of advice out there for helping you better understand and improve these skills.

    Fingers crossed your DSA will be sorted soon, and you'll be able to access further support from the disability department. Did they seem nice and helpful when you went to see them? 

    Don't worry about finding university hard, I think I spent my entire time there feeling like I had no idea what I was doing! I'm sure you're doing fine, but make sure to reach out for additional help if you need it.
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  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Ophelia_Rose and welcome to the community. How are things going? Just wanted to see if there was anything else we can do to help. :)


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