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Ft mature student and housing benefit(14 Posts)
Are there any full time mature students here that receive housing benefit? I'm a lone parent too.
I'm currently in a bit of a panic mode about finances...
Giving you a bump. Are you already studying or just hoping to?
Thanks for the bump!
I'm starting next week full time so I'm just waiting to hear...
Great, what are you studying? Is it your first degree? Will you receive enough housing benefit or you’re not sure yet? These are questions I’m wondering as I consider further study but really not sure it’s viable financially. Hope it’s a good outcome for you.
I'm hoping to start university next September and with 2 very young (and 2 a bit older) children I've been doing a lot of research on how my benefits will be affected. I am currently a lone parent on income support, housing benefit and tax credits.
If you receive any grants or loans other than tuition loans these will be taken off your housing benefit and income support.
You can apply for maintenance grants through student finance, this could cover your rent/housing costs, depending on how high your rent is. Mine is low so these grants would cover it.
You can also apply for childcare grants either through student finance or possibly your uni (I can at mine). I'm not 100% sure how to do this though because without a timetable to arrange nursery I can't forward plan?
Can I ask you when/if you've received your timetable so you know when you have to physically be in uni? That's my biggest stress at the minute, arranging childcare.
If there's anything else, I might be able to help as I've spent a lot of time (1 year!!) researching haha. You can also make an appt at job centre who will speak to you about benefits.
I'm not 100% sure as I believe the system may have changed since I started at Uni 3 years ago (5 year course, integrated masters with foundation year). However, when I started as a lone parent I was given something from Student Finance called a 'special support grant' instead of a maintenance grant which was not counted for Housing Benefit purposes so I did still receive Housing Benefit.
If you are not getting a special support grant then it's unlikely you would still qualify for HB. Look into grants at your University though - last year I was given 3.5k in various grants from my Uni.
@ems137 regarding childcare... Put your child into the nursery all day everyday, use anytime you are not physically in lectures study, treat it like a 9-5 job. Timetables vary massively depending on the course, mine for example has 20+ taught hours each week. My friends flat mate has 2-4 taught hours each week.
hmmm Thanks! I'm going to be studying environmental science.
4 year degree with foundation year, first degree.
I have a maintenance loan and a grant that can't be taken into account when calculating any benefits .
Hopefully I'll hear soon. I'll also be entitled to child tax credits but don't know how much right now...its all so up in the air.
ems I start properly in one week and I still don't have my timetable! Childcare is a huge worry right now. I'm going to the uni this week to talk to student services and hopefully get my timetable.
Also, the people that assess for Housing Benefit don't always know the rules regarding HB and lone parent students.
I had carefully worked it all out before I started and needed the HB for it to be financially viable. But when my letter came through it said I was entitled to nothing! I phoned them up and argued the point with them, eventually got out through to someone higher up who confirmed what I was saying was correct, got reassessed, full HB. So if they say you are not entitled first time round it's worth querying it.
Thanks Dusky that's really helpful. I guess I just need to be patient and wait!
Thanks dusky. That's kinda what I'd thought I might have to do anyway, because later on in the first year I'll have a placement for 8 weeks so would need full time childcare for that period anyway. This is the only part that's stressing me out really.
I am doing a Psych BSc with Open Uni but because it's Distance Learning it counts as Part-time (even if you study at full-time intensity and finish in 3 years!). It will probably take me 5-6. I get a tuition loan but no maintenance loan, and still get the same benefits I did before I started. Is that an option for you? FT study does mess with benefits unfortunately - you will be expected to pay some of your rent from your maintenance loan, but during the summer months you won't have the ML so will need to claim full HB again. It all sounded way too stressful it me, what with councils taking ages to put through anything and pay anyone.... Don't mean to put you off really! Just all the thoughts I went through...
Oh hang on just saw you are a single parent, so this might be different, I have a partner and child.
I got HB and tax credit as a full time student and single parent. Im not sure how things are now with universal credit?