Full time students usually cannot get benefits; there are some exceptions that may be able to apply for benefits during the summer months such as parents. There are also some benefits that disabled students may be eligible for.

Universal credit, income support, jobseeker’s allowance, income-related ESA and housing benefit are affected by most income that someone has. Student Loans and bursaries count as income.

Part-time students can usually continue to get their benefits as before, although this may be depending on work related activities if you are claiming UC or JSA.

For further information please see the Department for work and Pensions website and the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Working and Child Tax Credits

Working and Child Tax credits are not usually affected by student funding. Find more about tax credits on the Government’s website.

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is money paid to parents or other people who are responsible for bringing up a child/ren under the age of 16 (or under 20 if in approved full time education or in unpaid training).You can find out more on the Government’s website.

Universal Credit

Universal credit (UC) is a new benefit which is due to replace the following benefits and tax credits,

  • · Income support (IS)
  • · Income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
  • · Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • · Child tax credit and working tax credit
  • · Housing benefit

If you have student income it will usually count as income for Universal Credit. Student income includes student loans/bursaries and grants paid to you for your course.

You can find more information on universal credits online

Job Seekers Allowance JSA

If you are a full-time student you will not be entitled to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)

The exception to this which would allow students to apply during the summer break is

  • If you are a lone parent
  • A member of a couple with a child where both of you are full-time students

You can find out more on the Governments Website

Additional information

GAIN –Glasgow’s Advice and Information Network is a website that offers free help and advice regarding Universal Credit. https://www.gain4u.org.uk/

Turn2us - is a national charity that provides financial support and information on benefits for students. 

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) - is a Scottish based organisation who specialise in producing information on benefits and their website includes useful information specific to students. 

Anyone considering studying full time and are unsure how this will affect your benefits, you can contact the funding team or your local Citizens Advice Team.

Housing Benefit

As a full time student you will not be entitled to housing benefit, however there are some exceptions if you:

  • are disabled
  • are responsible for children
  • are getting income support or income based jobseeker's allowance (during the summer months)
  • are receiving a state pension
  • leave your course temporarily because of illness or caring responsibilities.

For more information see the Government’s website