Which welfare benefits can I claim?
There are a number of welfare benefits that can be paid to a student who has a disability or a long term illness. Some of these welfare benefits have specific rules for full time students. Whether or not you can get welfare benefits as a full time student with a disability or illness will depend on how long you have had a disability or illness, how your disability or illness affects you on a daily basis and what other income you have.
There are no specific rules for part time students so if you are a part time post graduate and you are claiming welfare benefits because you have a disability or ongoing ill health then as long as you continue to satisfy the rules for those welfare benefits you can continue your claim.
The main welfare benefit for someone who is disabled or has a long term illness which affects their ability to work is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). In addition, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can be paid to help with the additional mobility and living costs of a disability or illness. There is also special provision to claim Housing Benefit/Local Housing Allowance to help with rent payments. Income related ESA and Housing Benefit/LHA are being replaced by Universal Credit.
This is a basic guide to the welfare benefits you might be eligible for. There are other eligibility rules which we do not explain here, which you must satisfy and which vary depending on the benefit – they relate to your residence in the UK, the amount of any savings you have, your income, etc. If you are unsure about your eligibility and would like detailed advice, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service.
Changes to the Welfare Benefit system
There are major changes to the benefit system affecting most claimants over the next few years. Existing claimants will be migrated onto the new benefits gradually over the next few years.
The introduction of Universal Credit (UC) – This is being introduced in stages and has so far only been introduced in certain areas.
UC is a new single monthly payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. It will replace Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, income related Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, and Tax Credits. You will make one online claim for your living costs, housing and dependent children. It will be made up of a standard allowance plus other 'elements' - for example for children, childcare, housing and caring. There will also be an element for those with limited capability for work. The amount you could get will depend on your own circumstances. It is paid monthly in arrears.
If you qualify, your monthly payment will cover everyone in your family who qualifies for support. 'Family' could mean you as a single person for example, or you might also be claiming for a partner and/or children. For more details see: https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit
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.