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Need a little help; Housing Benefit and Student Finance.

(17 Posts)
BelleOfTheBoulevard Fri 08-Jun-12 01:26:03

Sorry, I know this should go somewhere else, but I know this place gets more traffic.

I'll be starting university in September, and am entitled to the full maintenance loan, and as a single parent, am also entitled to the parents learning allowance and special support grant.

I've been told I'll be entitled to housing benefit, but I've heard everything from people having the full entitlement to receiving little more than £15 in entitlement a week. I'll be making an appointment to see my local council next week, but I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me what their experience of housing benefit as a student was, please? I'm completely confused. confused

Birdsgottafly Fri 08-Jun-12 01:33:05

The students that i know have had their loans counted as income, so have not been entitled to HB, or at least only a top up.

It's wrong because my arguement is that if someone took out any other loan or mortgage it wouldn't be counted as income, so why is SF.

You do get full council tax paid, though.

Birdsgottafly Fri 08-Jun-12 01:35:22

This is because HB is means tested and it is individual.

This is why a lot of students get workover the holidays, because they are out of the benefit system.

Although it is individual depending on your overall average weekly income.

LowRegNumber Fri 08-Jun-12 01:38:29

I was told none so struggled through my degree with dc and working three jobs... If course they then told me they were wrong and awarded me full HB backdated - which was nice but it would have been nicer if I could have dropped one of the jobs and actually seen my dc over the three years! I would suggest that whatever you are told you then go and check with citizens advice, just to be sure!

BelleOfTheBoulevard Fri 08-Jun-12 01:47:00

Thank you. I'm hearing a million different things all over the place.

LowReg, that's horrible shock I'll check everything with CAB

Birdsgottafly Fri 08-Jun-12 01:48:50

You will hear different things because it is a means tested benefit.

HauntedLittleLunatic Fri 08-Jun-12 01:54:52

It is a means tested benefit.

Your student loan will be counted as income (even if you don't actually take the loan). I think the other grants will too (special support and parents learning allowance).

HauntedLittleLunatic Fri 08-Jun-12 01:57:16

CAB are actually useless for students. Was told to go go the uni's financial support service - who couldn't tell me everything there and then cos they weren't completely au fait with single parent students but knew where to get the right info.

Alambil Fri 08-Jun-12 02:02:48

When I was at uni as a mature single parent, I got my award letter from Student Finance Co and highlighted all the aspects that were NOT disposable income; the grant for learning is meant to be for books, for example and the childcare grant is obviously solely for child care expenses - it got my "income" down from X grand to X hundred for that semester and allowed HB to be awarded as I fought that it was not income, but intended (and spent on) vital university tools...

It might help to do something similar when you get your award letter

sashh Fri 08-Jun-12 04:20:03

The students that i know have had their loans counted as income, so have not been entitled to HB, or at least only a top up.

That's not true. It is counted as income, so if you don't take out a loan they say you still have it. But if you do take out the loan they completely ignore it for benefit rules.

You will be entitled to housing benefit and income support.

Everyone who is saying students are outside the benefit system there are two exceptions

1) single parents

2) disabled students

You will also be entitled to access / hardship funds

HorribleDay Fri 08-Jun-12 06:15:05

Definitely second the idea of contacting Student Finance at whatever Uni you're going to - much more in the know re benefits and childcare than council and CAB!

MushroomMagee Fri 08-Jun-12 07:55:44

You will probably be entitles to full hb and ctb. They disregard certain parts of your student finance but bits of it are counted as well as ctc etc. pla is disregarded as is the loan. if you want me to tell you more exactly what is disregarded and what counts, pm me.

In my experience student finance are totally incompetent, the council on the other hand are excellent and always give really good advice. If you give them a call they should be able to give you some info.
But ime, we got full hb and ctb when dh was a student ( we were married with dd)

CrazyUnderwear Fri 08-Jun-12 08:09:16

I'm a full time student and single parent. I get almost full housing benefit.

BelleOfTheBoulevard Fri 08-Jun-12 12:49:27

Thank you all. Am contacting the uni next week as well.

I'm a bit iffy about contacting SFE for advice; most of my friends are currently at uni (I took a year out after my access course) and I've heard horror story after horror story. I'm just worried I'll have the same fate. And thank you, Mushroom. I may take you up on that offer at a later date. smile

Thing3 Fri 08-Jun-12 13:13:27

I started at university 9 years ago so things might have changed but back then you wouldn't get income support as your student loan would make your income too much. I did however get full housing and council tax benefit.

A friend of mine is starting a foundation degree in September and from what she has said it does sound similar.

If you apply anyway and give them all of the facts they will only say no so won't hurt.

StrandedBear Fri 08-Jun-12 13:47:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

George234 Fri 01-Jan-16 12:22:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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