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Extra Undergraduate Student Finance for Living Costs

Extra Undergraduate Student Finance for Living Costs

Extra Student Finance for students who started courses before September 2016

If you have an underlying entitlement to claim benefits despite being a full time student because you have a disability or ongoing health condition, you can receive a Special Support Grant instead of a Maintenance Grant. Unlike the Maintenance Grant the Special Support Grant does not affect the amount of Maintenance loan or welfare benefits you can receive.

What is the Special Support Grant for?

This is money to help with the general costs of Higher Education, like books and travel. You do not need to repay this.

How much is the Special Support Grant?

The calculation of the amount of Special Support Grant you get is the same as for the Maintenance Grant. The Special Support Grant is paid instead of the Maintenance Grant, and is non-repayable. The amount of Special Grant you can get (if any) depends on your household income, and on when you started your course:

Course start date 2012-2015 (‘2012 cohort’ students)

The maximum amount of Special Support Grant in 2018/19 is £3593. How much Special Support Grant you get depends on your household income:

Income assessment

Household Income

 

Special Support Grant per year

 

£25,000 or less

 

£3593

 

£25,001 - £42,645

 

£3593 reduced by £1 for every complete £4.98 of income above £25,000

 

Above £42,645

 

No grant

 

 


If you are a pre 2012 cohort student the Student Finance income assessment will be different -  contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service.

 

How is the Special Support Grant paid?

It is paid directly into your bank account in three equal instalments at the start of each semester (September, January and April).

How will my Special Support Grant affect my Maintenance Loan or Welfare Benefits?

It is advantageous to get the Special Support Grant because your Maintenance Loan amount will not be reduced as a result of your entitlement to it, whereas it would be reduced if you are getting the Maintenance Grant.

Also, importantly the Special Support Grant is disregarded in the assessment of any means tested welfare benefits you get, so the benefits won’t be reduced as a result of you getting this income. You will need to show each of the offices that pay your welfare benefits a copy of your entitlement (which you can print from your online account) stating that you get the Special Support Grant.

It is also ignored as income when calculating help with health costs when you apply on the HC1 form, see https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-low-income-scheme.

Who is eligible for the Special Support Grant?

You may be eligible for the Special Support Grant if you:

  • Have a disability, and qualify for the Disability Premium (This includes receiving PIP (Personal Independence Payment), or DLA (Disability Living Allowance), or being registered blind) or
  • Are deaf and qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances, or
  • Have been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks, or
  • Qualify for a means tested benefit such as Income Support, Housing Benefit or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • Are waiting to go back to a course having taken agreed time out from that course due to an illness or caring responsibility that has now ended

If you need to check your eligibility, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service.

How do I apply for the Special Support Grant?

You will need to indicate in your application for Student Finance that you want to apply for the Special Support Grant and send supporting evidence, for example a benefit award letter, to show that you fit into one of the eligible categories listed above.

Check your Student Finance entitlement in your online account: if you are getting a Maintenance Grant, contact Student Finance England to ask for this to be changed to a Special Support Grant. You will need to send SFE evidence showing how you qualify, see https://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/money/undergraduates/undergraduate-funding-pre-2016-starters.

If you have any difficulties getting the Special Support Grant, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service.

Extra Maintenance Loan for Students who start courses from September 2016 onwards

If you have an underlying entitlement to claim benefits despite being a full time student because you have a disability or ongoing health issue, you may be eligible for a higher amount of Maintenance Loan than other students (see tables below). This higher rate loan is referred to here as the ‘Special Support’ Maintenance Loan. It is fully repayable and replaces the standard Maintenance Loan.

Part of the ‘Special Support’ Maintenance Loan for living costs is paid as a 'special support element' for books, childcare, travel and equipment. This 'special support element’ (£3,680) is not taken into account as income by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when calculating your means tested benefits.

How much ‘Special Support’ Maintenance Loan you get depends on your household income:

 

Amount of ‘Special Support’ Maintenance Loan for Students Eligible for Welfare Benefits who start courses from September 2016

Where you will be living

 

Maximum Maintenance Loan (100%)

 

Non-income assessed Maintenance Loan

 

Students not in their final year

 

Living away from home

 

£12,382

 

£5,654

 

Living at home

 

£8,640

 

£3,224

 

Final year students

 

Living away from home

 

£11,604

 

£5,151

 

Living at home

 

£8,237

 

£2,962

 

 

In 2018/19, the lower standard Maintenance Loan rates for students not eligible for welfare benefits studying in London are:

Where you will be living

 

Maximum Maintenance Loan (100%)

 

Non-income assessed Maintenance Loan

 

Students not in their final year

 

Living away from home

 

£11,354

 

£5,654

 

Living at home

 

£7,324

 

£3,224

 

Final year students

 

Living away from home

 

£10,518

 

£5,151

 

Living at home

 

£6,892

 

£2,962

 

 

How is the ‘Special Support’ Maintenance Loan paid?

It is paid directly into your bank account in three equal instalments at the start of each semester (September, January and April).

Who is eligible for the ‘Special Support’ Maintenance Loan?

You may be eligible for the Special Support Maintenance Loan if you:

    • have a disability and qualify for the disability premium (this includes receiving DLA, PIP or being registered blind); or
    • have been treated as having a limited capacity for work for 28 weeks; or
    • are deaf and qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances; or
    • Qualify for a means tested benefit such as Income Support, Housing Benefit or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
    • Are waiting to go back to a course having taken agreed time out from that course due to an illness or caring responsibility that has now ended

If you need to check your eligibility, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service.

How do I apply for the ‘Special Support’ Maintenance Loan?

You will need to indicate in your application for Student Finance that you want to apply for the ‘Special Support’ higher rate Maintenance Loan by ticking the relevant boxes indicating that you have a disability and/or are receiving a relevant benefit and send supporting evidence, for example a benefit award letter, to show that you fit into one of the eligible categories listed above.

Check your Student Finance entitlement in your online account to check that you are receiving the correct higher amount of loan.

For more information about the income assessment, see the SFE guide 'How you’re assessed and paid'.

If you have any difficulties getting the ‘Special Support’ Maintenance Loan, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service.


Disclaimer:
Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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