Taking time out of your studies because of ill health or disability
Please also see our advice guides on interrupting your studies, to help you think through your decision and the practical implications it may have. Home and EU undergraduates should read ‘Resitting, Interrupting or Leaving your course’, and postgraduates should read our guide to ‘Postgraduate Funding’.
If you are on a full time course you are still treated as a full time student unless you complete, abandon or are dismissed from that course. Therefore, even during periods of interruption or resitting out of attendance you continue to be a full time student.
If you fall ill or acquire a disability while you are studying you may be able to claim welfare benefits and you may get a higher amount if your student income has ceased while you are taking time out from your studies contact a Welfare Adviser for more information. For example:
- You may be eligible for PIP if you are disabled and have had care or mobility needs for the past 3 months or more (or will have done by the time your claim is processed) and expect these to continue for at least another 9 months.
- If you get PIP you may also be able to claim ESA (IR) and HB/LHA or UC.
- If you have an illness or disability but have worked in the last 2-3 years and have enough NI contributions, you may be able to claim ESA (C) and HB/LHA.
- If you do not get PIP, after 28 weeks of ill health you may be able to claim HB/LHA but not the housing costs element of UC (you need to get PIP and to have a work capability assessment).
- If you have recovered from your ill health and are waiting to re-join your course you may be able to claim JSA and HB/LHA or UC.
If you withdraw from your course then you are no longer a student and the normal benefit rules apply.
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.