Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits
Am I eligible to claim welfare benefits?
Most full-time undergraduate students cannot claim welfare benefits. However, you may be able to claim certain benefits at particular times of the year if you fall within the excepted group of students who can claim which includes:
- lone parents
- disabled students or students with ongoing ill-health
- students who are part of a student couple with a child
Which benefits can I claim?
If you meet the basic eligibility rules for a particular welfare benefit, if you are not already a claimant, you might be eligible to claim welfare benefits. If you think you might be eligible to claim welfare benefits, please see the section below ‘Where can I get more detailed information about benefits?’
How does my Student Finance affect the amount of benefit I get?
Claiming benefits while you are a student can be complicated as your Student Finance income will normally affect your claim for income-assessed benefits. How much benefit you get will depend on what income is counted in the assessment of your welfare benefits under the relevant welfare benefits rules.
You must tell each of the offices that pay your benefit(s) about your Student Finance income as well as any other sources of income you have.
If you are a lone parent or have a disability or ongoing health condition, you may find it useful to read the Advice and Counselling Service’s web page Students with Children and the advice guide 'Extra Money for Disability and Ill Health’. These advice guides provide more detailed information about each welfare benefit, how your student finance is assessed as income plus template letters for you to use to notify your benefit offices about changes to your claim through the academic year. You can contact a Welfare Adviser for detailed advice about whether you are entitled to any welfare benefits, and if so, how to claim.
Like most UK students, you cannot normally claim benefits while studying full time. As an EU national there are also additional eligibility criteria. Contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service for more information.
Can I claim tax credits?
Tax credits help people who are on a low income. There are two types of tax credits: Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. You may be eligible for one or both. They are income assessed and paid by HM Revenue and Customs. You can get a claim form from the Tax Credits helpline: 0845 300 3900. Please note that tax credits are going to gradually be replaced by Universal Credit. For more information about eligibility for tax credits and how to claim see the tax credits section of the gov.uk website.
Some EEA nationals can claim tax credits if they satisfy certain residence conditions. Contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service if you need more information.
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.