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Students and Housing Benefit

For Housing Benefit purposes, a student is any person 'who is attending or undertaking a course of study at an educational establishment'.

The Housing Benefit scheme prevents some, but not all, students from qualifying for Housing Benefit.

Watch our video - Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support for students

Definition of full-time

Only full-time students are generally ineligible for Housing Benefit.

If you are undertaking or attending a course wholly or partly funded by the Young People's Learning Agency for England that requires more than 16 guided learning hours per week, then you are full-time.

All students on Sandwich courses count as full-time.

If you are on a course that doesn't fall into the definitions above then we need to look at the details of your course, and may need to speak to your educational establishment to decide if you are full-time or not.

If you are a full-time student, you may qualify for Housing Benefit if you are classed as a "vulnerable" student.

Vulnerable Students

Vulnerable students may be eligible for Housing Benefit. Students that are considered vulnerable are:

  • students who are lone parents;
  • students under 21 who are not in higher education who were enrolled, accepted or started that course while they were 19 or younger;
  • students who have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit, or whose partner has;
  • student couples where both partners are full-time students or lone parents and in either case responsible for a child or young person;
  • students in receipt of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • students who have a an allowance for deafness included in their grant;
  • students who would qualify for the disability premium or severe disability premium in the calculation of their applicable amount (this would include students who are blind or in receipt of Disability Living Allowance);
  • students who are treated as being incapable of work; and
  • students unable to get a grant or student loan following an absence from their studies (with consent of their educational establishment) due to illness or providing care. This applies only from the date of ceasing to be ill or providing care up to a maximum or one year, or when the student resumes the course.

If you are prevented from qualifying because you are a student

If you think that you won't qualify because you are a student, please contact us to make sure.

If you have a partner who is not a student and they are eligible for Housing Benefit, your partner can claim on behalf of you both. The rules preventing students from qualifying only apply if the benefit claimant is the student.

If you are not prevented from qualifying

If you are not prevented from qualifying for Housing Benefit due to being a student, you will still be subject to all the other rules governing Housing Benefit.

How does student income affect Housing Benefit claims?

The Housing Benefit rules describe how we must treat income relating to students. Some incomes we have to include, some we can disregard, we can also normally disregard an amount from a grant or loan for books and travel. Some common incomes and how we treat them are given below.

Student loan

We have to take any student loan available to you into account, whether you take it out or not.

Maintenance grant

The maintenance grant is made up of different amounts/grants some of which can be disregarded, some of which can't. The grants that can be disregarded are:

  • higher education grant;
  • parents learning allowance;
  • child care grant; and
  • special support grant.

How to claim Housing Benefit

To claim benefit, you will need to:

See also

Contact Benefits

Email: revenues@dover.gov.uk

Phone: 01304 872199

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