Can I study at Postgraduate level and still receive ESA and housing benefit? — Scope | Disability forum
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Can I study at Postgraduate level and still receive ESA and housing benefit?

Paulkitzchx
Paulkitzchx Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited October 22 in Education
Hello everyone. I hope you are all well

Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,632 Disability Gamechanger
    @Paulkitzchx good afternoon and a warm welcome to scope, i'm not too bad ho are you?
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,416

    Scope community team

    Hello and welcome to the community @Paulkitzchx

    How are you?
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,827 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community Feel free to join in or ask any questions 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • Paulkitzchx
    Paulkitzchx Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi, I'm trying to find out if I can study at Postgraduate level and still receive ESA and housing benefit. I have several mental health issues which make it difficult to cope with leaving my home and looking after myself. On the other hand I feel quite motivated to extend my education. I've been offered a place at Reading University to study for a MA in Fine Art but couldn't find funding in order to do so. I think I'm going to apply to the RA to do their postgraduate diploma as they don't charge fees - but I would need to travel to London from Reading during term time. Is doing either of these two courses at all possible ? I want to try irrespective of the difficulties I will face in physically attending. If anyone has any idea whatsoever as to how I might be able to go forward, I'd very much appreciate a response. Thank You.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser Posts: 567 Pioneering
    Hello @Paulkitzchx

    I am well thank you, how are you? Thanks for joining us on Scope's forum. It is great to see you have joined us. In terms of ESA and housing benefit, they are not my areas of expertise unfortunately which means I am hoping someone with more knowledge about ESA and housing benefit can respond to you soon.

    However, education is one of my areas of expertise which means I am hoping to help you tackle this side of the coin! If you are able to access Student Finance England, their Master's loan eligibility is based on your course, your age and your nationality or residency status. You can find more information about this and the exceptions to being able to access this funding at https://www.gov.uk/masters-loan/eligibility

    Also, most importantly, congratulations on being accepted for a MA. Such a big achievement and I hope you are proud! I am just wondering if you are aware of the disabled students' allowance (DSA)? DSA is useful for covering the costs of any disability-specific supports you may need and it is not means-tested nor does it have to be paid back. If you are interested, you can find more information at https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowance-dsa

    I hope this helps but if you have any additional questions or there is anything else we can support you with, please do not hesitate to reach out to us again  :)
    I am a Scope volunteer. I have knowledge about the following subjects, gained through professional settings such as high level education or employment: autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, down's syndrome, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, assistive technology and education. Pronouns: She/her.
  • Paulkitzchx
    Paulkitzchx Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you all for introducing yourselves and L in particular for her response. You've all made my day, really !

     One of the problems I face is that I seem to be too old now to get a Student Loan ( it seems that I needed to be under 60 before my course began ). One reason I want to go to The Royal Academy is that they don't charge tuition fees but it means that I have to travel to London from Reading with all the attending costs and stress. I'll revisit the student loan people as well as contacting DWP with regards DSA. The age thing is annoying - I don't feel very old at all at 60 ! I've only started to produce work that's okay in the last 5 years......Anyway thank you all for your support.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,348 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 22
    Do you receive PIP?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,725 Disability Gamechanger
    calcotti said:
    Do you receive PIP?

    Or DLA.
  • Paulkitzchx
    Paulkitzchx Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I haven't applied for either PIP or DLA. I'm not sure that I'm generally unwell enough to qualify. I'm told that I'm cyclothymic or Bipolar or even autistic. The diagnosis depends on which psychiatrist I've most recently spoken with. My GP prescribes Amitryptaline to keep me calm enough to sleep, it also helps me to leave my home and attend to whatever I need to do but even so there are frequently times when I feel unable to leave home  or do anything whilst at home ( like cooking or laundry or even showering ) . I have a friend who helps me dealing with this who is herself coping with physical and mental health issues. We support each other
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,348 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 22
    I haven't applied for either PIP or DLA. 
    You can’t apply for DLA if you are not getting it, it has been replaced by PIP.
    PIP is not about a diagnosis, it’s about whether or not you can do a set of specified activities reliably. see
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-points-system

    As you don’t get PIP you cannot receive ESA while studying full time, nor can you receive HB (assuming you are single). Full details are here.
    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Full-time-students-and-benefits/Can-full-time-students-get-Employment-and-Support

    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.

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