ESA and learners loan — Scope | Disability forum

ESA and learners loan


Just wondered if you could give me some advice. 

I have been on contribution based ESA in the support group for several years now (was incapacity benefit) although I’m still trying to manage my condition I was looking into a college course. This is 2 hours a week but would also mean I would need to volunteer 12 hours a week. At this moment I’m not sure if I’m capable but would like to try. However to do this course I would need a student loan to cover the course fee.  

I have phoned the benefits agency and they said I can do the course but if I get any kind of student loan it can effect my benefits?

I don’t want to start the course and lose all my benefits. And then not be able to cope with the course due to my health. 

Are you able to provide any advice on this? 


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,420 Disability Gamechanger

    Contributions based benefits are not affected by any loans/capital or savings. You will need to check that it's just Contributions based that you're claiming and that you don't have the income related top up. If you're claiming the income related top up then the loan will affect this.

    If you don't have a recent breakdown of exactly what ESA you're claiming then you can ring ESA and ask. You will also need to have permission to do voluntary work before you start.

    Any student loan you may receive will affect any other means tested benefits you claim, so if you claim housing benefit then the loan will be counted as income.

  • jh8751
    jh8751 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi thank you so
    much for your reply. Sorry I posted it twice I’m new to this and thought it hadn’t been posted. I’m not on any means tested benefits so just need to advise them about the voluntary work. Thanks 


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