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How will I support myself financially?

How will I support myself financially?

Budget planning

Before you think about how you will fund yourself, you need to work out how much your costs will be, to see how much money you need. You can use the budget spreadsheets on our website to do this.

Interrupting

Student Finance

If you ticked ‘health’ as the reason on your QMUL interruption form, your Student Finance entitlement should automatically continue for 60 days from the date of interruption, after which you will no longer be entitled.

If you didn’t tick ‘health’, your Student Finance entitlement will end from the date of interruption.

If you feel that you will have essential expenses during your interruption (such as rent, food, etc) and you will not be eligible for income from any other source (see options below), you can try applying to Student Finance England and ask them to use their discretion to continue funding you, even though you have interrupted. See the next section Applying for discretionary Student Finance.

Working

Most students would be expected to work to support yourself during this period out of attendance, unless your circumstances prevent this (for example, ill-health). The Advice and Counselling Service and QMUL Careers and Enterprise Centre have written an advice guide to help you find work. 

Welfare Benefits

If you are a student who can normally claim benefits while studying, such as some lone parents or someone with a disability or ongoing ill-health, you can continue claiming during your interruption.

If you have interrupted for medical reasons, and you feel unable to work because of this, you might be eligible to claim welfare benefits on the basis of your ill-health. Our advice guide Extra Money for Disability and Ill Health explains what these benefits are and what the eligibility criteria is.

If you are well enough to work, you cannot usually claim benefits like Job Seeker’s Allowance or Housing Benefit because you are still treated as a full-time student, even though you are not currently in full-time attendance. However, if you interrupted because you are ill, or to care for someone else, you may be entitled to claim certain benefits for a limited period after you recover or your caring responsibilities end but before you can return to full-time study.

Contact a Welfare Adviser if you need advice about claiming benefits.

Applying for discretionary Student Finance

If you have very extenuating reasons why you cannot work during an interruption of study and you are not entitled to any other income, Student Finance England has discretion to continue to pay you Student Finance even though you are interrupting your studies. An example of this might be someone who interrupts for health reasons, and who will be applying for welfare benefits, but there will be a delay in these being processed, and in the meantime they have no income to pay for their essential costs of living. However, SFE can make discretionary payments in circumstances other than ill health. For example, if you have dependants to support then it may be worth applying for discretionary funding.

How do I apply for discretionary Student Finance?

In assessing an application for discretionary Student Finance, SFE should consider each case on its own merits. SFE should consider the reasons why you have interrupted, how long you are interrupting for, what financial hardship you may experience if you don’t receive any Student Finance, and whether this might mean that you are not able to resume your studies in the future.

To help you apply for discretionary Student Finance SFE have produced a Financial Hardship Confirmation Form which asks you to complete information about your income, expenses and debts. There is also a blank page on the form for you to explain to SFE why you have had to interrupt, and why you are now unable to work or to access any alternative income.

You will also need to send supporting documents with your form such as bank statements for the most recent three months, as well as evidence of your financial obligations such as a tenancy agreement showing your rent amount, copies of any bills that are due, etc.

You should be able to download the Financial Hardship Confirmation Form from your student finance online account but if you can’t, contact a Welfare Adviser for a copy of the form. A Welfare Adviser can help you complete the form, or check it before you send it off.

You will also need evidence of your ill health to show that you cannot work, for example a fit note from your GP. If you cannot get a GP fit note, contact a Welfare Adviser to discuss your options.

In addition to submitting your own evidence, if you are interrupting for a complete academic year e.g. September to September, so you have not yet applied for Student Finance in the academic year, you would also need to fill out a PR1 application form.

Contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service who can advise you about making a discretionary funding application.

Re-sitting out of attendance

Student Finance

If you receive government funds, you are not normally eligible to receive these while you are out of attendance.

Working

You would normally be expected to work to support yourself during this period out of attendance. The Advice and Counselling Service and QMUL Careers and Enterprise Centre have written an advice guide to help you find work.

Welfare Benefits

You cannot usually claim benefits like Job Seeker’s Allowance or Housing Benefit, because you are still treated as a full-time student, even though you are not currently in full-time attendance. However, if you are a student who can normally claim benefits while studying, such as some lone parents or someone with a disability or ongoing ill-health, you can continue claiming.

If you are out of attendance due to ill health, and you feel unable to work because of this, you might be eligible to claim welfare benefits. Our advice guide Extra Money for Disability and Ill Health explains what these benefits are and what the eligibility criteria is.

University Financial Assistance Fund

If you are re-sitting out of attendance and you need to give up work a few weeks before your exams so that you can revise, you may be able to get a grant to help towards your loss of earnings from the University Financial Assistance Fund (UFAF). Application forms and guidance are available here.

In exceptional circumstances you might also be able to apply to the University Financial Assistance Fund for a limited amount of financial assistance if you have no income while you are waiting for other funds to arrive.

Contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service who can advise you about applying to the hardship fund.

Withdrawing

Once you are deregistered, you will no longer be entitled to receive Student Finance, as you will no longer be a student. You may have an overpayment - see the later section of this advice guide Will I have to repay my Student Finance grants or loans?

As you will no longer be a student, you will either need to find employment or consider applying for welfare benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Tax Credits, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction, if you meet the requirements under the standard benefit rules.

Any Student Finance you received might continue to affect the amount of benefits that you receive for a certain period after you have withdrawn from your course. Contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service if you need advice about this.

Deregistration

Once you are deregistered, you will no longer be entitled to receive Student Finance, as you will no longer be a student. If you normally receive Student Finance, and you are deregistered mid semester, you may have an overpayment - see the later section of this advice guide Will I have to repay my Student Finance grants or loans? 

After being de-registered, you would usually be expected to support yourself financially, for example through working. As you will no longer be a student in full-time education, you may be eligible to claim certain welfare benefits such as Job Seeker’s Allowance or Housing Benefit, if you also meet the main eligibility rules for claiming. Any Student Finance you received might continue to affect the amount of benefits that you receive for a certain period after you have been deregistered. Contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service for advice.

If you are then re-instated to QMUL (either following payment of any outstanding tuition fees or following a successful academic appeal) you immediately resume your full-time student status, and you would become ineligible to claim welfare benefits, unless you fall into one of the groups of students who can claim benefits despite being a full-time student, such as a lone parent, or a student with a disability or ongoing ill health. This is even the case if you are reinstated and then immediately put on an interruption of study until the next academic year (as usually happens following a successful academic appeal following August exams) - while on an interruption you still count as a full time student. Contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service if you need advice about this.


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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