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Benefits and going back to college

millysho
millysho Member Posts: 9 Listener
Hey, 

I am currently claiming Universal Credit and Limited Capability to work and work related activities. I am still very ill but would love to go back to college and study Level 3 health and social care, I am 26 so have been told I would qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the costs of my course. I am just worried I will lose all of my benefits if I go back to college? Online doesn’t seem to give me much information and there is no way I’d be able to survive if I lost it all. I should be claiming PIP but am yet to apply as I am scared of the assessment process! Does anyone know how going back to study and claiming benefits would work out? Online does says that certain courses are free but again I can’t find much to back that claim! 

I’m incredibly depressed at the moment as I am stuck in the house on my own day in and day out, I just feel very alone and feel doing something like a course would help me but at the same time I can’t do it if I will have no money to live off. 

Not sure if you’ll be able to help but thank you for any advice! 

Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Member Posts: 7,474 Disability Gamechanger
    I suppose if you are still very ill would you be able to manage going to college? Applying for PIP might not be as bad as you assume, although keep in mind it's not about your illness but about care and/or mobility issues you may have v the descriptors, so it might be worth spending some time researching PIP.
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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,735 Scope online community team
    Hello and welcome to the community @millysho :)

    Regarding the cost of the level 3 health and social care course, it should be free according to this gov.uk page, so long as you don't already have a level 3 qualification. Not all colleges provide all courses, so you can find a list of colleges that offer the courses here, and then check if your local one does the health and social care course you want. 

    You can read more generally about universal credit and being a student here

    Is there anything in particular that worries you about the PIP assessment process? It's easy to think from reading information online that everyone has a stressful experience, but this isn't always the case. 

    I'm sorry to hear that your depression is particularly bad at the moment. Are you accessing support for your mental health at the moment? 
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  • millysho
    millysho Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hello and welcome to the community @millysho :)

    Regarding the cost of the level 3 health and social care course, it should be free according to this gov.uk page, so long as you don't already have a level 3 qualification. Not all colleges provide all courses, so you can find a list of colleges that offer the courses here, and then check if your local one does the health and social care course you want. 

    You can read more generally about universal credit and being a student here

    Is there anything in particular that worries you about the PIP assessment process? It's easy to think from reading information online that everyone has a stressful experience, but this isn't always the case. 

    I'm sorry to hear that your depression is particularly bad at the moment. Are you accessing support for your mental health at the moment? 
    Hey - I currently already have a HNC and HND qualifications in Animal Management. I did see that some courses are free but a lot of the information is very contradictive or confusing. I have found a course at my local college already and they said I could apply but I haven’t due to the benefits sides of things. 

    I have had a PIP assessment before and they awarded me 0 on everything despite me being noticeably unwell so I never applied again, I have been asking for help with the physical assessment (NOT filling the form in) but have no been offered any support other than CA who cannot help me, they can only help me with the form and the appeal. The whole thing was very stressful and awful and it’s just not something I can put myself through again, it was completely degrading. I understand the above comment saying I may be too ill to do the course but the course is 2 days per week and would at least give me something to focus on other than being sat in a house on my own 24/7 looking at the same 4 walls! 

    I’m getting no help for my mental
    health currently as the mental
    health services are basically awful so I gave up asking for help which is would never get. 

    I probably won’t apply for the course unfortunately, it just gave me abit of hope but maybe I was just being unrealistic. 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member Posts: 7,474 Disability Gamechanger
    @millysho have you thought about open university courses at all ?
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • millysho
    millysho Member Posts: 9 Listener
    woodbine said:
    @millysho have you thought about open university courses at all ?
    I did consider it but the whole point of me going back was so I could be around people and not on my own so much. Most of OU is working from home and things 

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