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ESA and Maintenance loan for part time student

sinead92sinead92 Posts: 7Member Listener
I am currently studying part time with Open uni and due to start next module in  October. I also currently get income based ESA and PIP. i have heard that disabled part time students are now able to apply for maintenance loan as well as the tuition fee loan from SFE. Does anyone how the loan will affect a ESA claim, and does this mean i will lose my ESA or am i able to change to contribution based. I already know it does not affect PIP 

Replies

  • northwestmum2northwestmum2 Posts: 40Member Whisperer
    Also- does anyone know how it affects benefits if you are a full-time student as well please??my sons been told to apply for ESA  in october as he turns 20 but has a whole full year at college(full time) still to do- then hes looking at uni if possible but doesnt want to apply for things then jeapordise the claims.?any help please.
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 5,858Member Brian Blessed
    Hi @sinead92 and @northwestmum2, hopefully our disabled student advisor @melaniethorley will be able to advise on this!
  • melaniethorleymelaniethorley Posts: 65Member, Community advisor Talkative
    Good morning Folks from a very sunny Greece....

    I am sorry I cannot send you any links as I only have access to my iPad which is a bit precious with copying and pasting.

    I would suggest looking the following:
    student finance England 
    Disability Rights UK
    job centre plus

    if you need any more information, I return from holiday on the 18 June when I will have access to all of my resources.

    I hope this helps
    Melanie
  • sinead92sinead92 Posts: 7Member Listener
    I have looked at all these pages and can't really seem to find the actual answer i need, does not help that the loan for part time student is a new thing that is only starting this year so does appear to be a lack of information on it. I assume it would mean i would lose my ESA 
  • clairek5clairek5 Posts: 4Member Listener
    Hi  I hope I can help a little I was full time last year in uni and got sfe and esa income bassed my amount when down to 34 pounds a fortnight as sfe is count as income.  It depends on how much sfe loan you get how much your esa goes down I am now on full amount again as I have finished uni hope this helps 
  • sinead92sinead92 Posts: 7Member Listener
    clairek5 said:
    Hi  I hope I can help a little I was full time last year in uni and got sfe and esa income bassed my amount when down to 34 pounds a fortnight as sfe is count as income.  It depends on how much sfe loan you get how much your esa goes down I am now on full amount again as I have finished uni hope this helps 
    Thanks, i will still be classed as part time as it is open uni, even though planning to do 120 credits. SFE said i would be eligible for 8,700 which i assume is full amount. I am on PIP now aswell even though i am going through MR with that. I am just worried about it affecting everything, as i assume i will lose housing benefits and council tax aswell. I am unsure on what route to go down and if i apply for the loan for not. I already get the tutution loan with no problems.

    I am worried that i might be worse off if i get the ML from SFE and lose all benefits plus the payments from SFE are not as regular as DWP
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,623Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    edited June 2018

    sinead92
    sinead92,

    I'll start with your query as I'm sure that it will be easier for northwestmum to get the answers when Melanie is back (we know quite a lot about full-time students & ESA).

    I'm going to assume, given the regulations, that the part-time loan is going to be treated just the same way as a full-time loan. That would mean, first, that you are treated as applying for it & treated as getting the maximum amount, whether or not you actually apply for it. As for contribution-based ESA, you can't choose to switch to that I'm afraid, you're either entitled to it or you're not - a claim for ESA is a claim for both. If you've worked in the past 2 or 3 years, and you earned enough to have national insurance paid on your behalf, then you may be entitled to contribution-based ESA, so it's worth checking - but if you are, you should already be getting it.

    Next you'd have to find out your maximum maintenance loan. That's going to have £390 and £303 disregarded from it (for books/equipment and for travel, whether or not you need these). Whatever is left is then divided up amongst the number of weeks on the course - really hard to tell, but if you start in October, it would depend when you finish. Loans are normally apportioned over 42 or 43 weeks, but it might be less for you.

    After the apportionment into a weekly amount, another £10 a week would be disregarded, & if the remaining figure is higher than your ESA, your ESA would stop. If your income-related ESA is more than the remaining figure, you'd keep the difference. 

    You can use the student finance calculator to estimate your student loan.

    I hope this helps a bit. You don't mention Housing Benefit - if you get that, then bear in mind it works differently, and you might still be entitled to some HB even if you lose your income-related ESA.

    Clairek5's answer is a good example of someone who kept a small amount of income-related ESA. But for you, it depends not just on the amount of the loan (and you'll be assumed to get the maximum available to you), but on the number of weeks from the start of your academic year to the last week of 'term'.

    Unfortunately, there probably isn't a way of avoiding this effect, unless you do have a recent work history & have some entitlement to contribution-based ESA (in which case, you would expect to already be getting it). The other complication is that if you do lose your income-related ESA, you may not be able to go back on it after your course (as it is likely that it will have been replaced by Universal Credit for new claims).

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • sinead92sinead92 Posts: 7Member Listener
    I do get housing benefit and full council tax benefit due to mental illness. I currently get 259 a fortnight of ESA due to deductions as i am on a joint claim and in the WRAG group pending the outcome of a recent reassessment where the assessor thought i should be in the support group.

    just not sure what to do, which route to go down and if i would lose everything. Open uni module would run from October to June 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 2,623Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    edited June 2018
    northwestmum2,

    Just to answer your question in brief, I'm assuming your son hasn't worked and so it would be income-related ESA, not contributory ESA? There's also an additional complication if you live in a Universal Credit full service area. I'd check your postcode first, using this site.

    If Universal Credit is available, it means income-related ESA isn't available, and vice versa. If you can apply for ESA, I'd recommend that your son does so sooner rather than later (when you stop getting Child Benefit & Child Tax Credit for him) because your area could change to UC at any time, and ESA is generally better.

    As a full-time student, he can get income-related ESA if he also gets PIP or DLA. For UC, he has to have limited capability for work and get PIP or DLA (to get the limited capability for work assessment, he may have to insist that UC do this before they make a decision, or he could apply for contributory ESA even though he knows he won't be entitled, just to get the assessment). Once he goes to university, it will depend on what student finance he gets. As this is some way off, it's probably better if I leave the explanation to Melanie on her return. That will also give you a chance to check whether it's going to be income-related ESA or UC (the calculation is different for the 2 benefits).

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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