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Studying whilst receiving Incapacity Benefit/Income Support


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I have been receiving Incapacity Benefit (long term rate) and Income Support for a period of 7 years due to a genetic blood illness which requires blood transfusions fortnightly. I also have have Type 1 Diabetes.

I am hoping to start an access course to HE at College next month with a view to start a degree next year. My course would involve 12.5 hours of study time at College. I have rang the DWP to inform them of change of circumstances, however they have asked me to put this in writing.

Does anyone know what I need to write in my letter?

I remember reading a template on this website, however unfortunately can't find it at the moment.

Any other help would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards.

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I think you would need to put down:

  • name of course and college
  • duration of course including dates if known
  • whether you have applied and been accepted (enclose a copy of acceptance letter/email)
  • amount of weekly study time involved

You are eligible to study if you are in IB or IS and it should not affect your benefits. However, it is likely they will look at this and think does this mean you are able to work. So make it clear that undertaking this course does not contradict any of the reasons why you can't work. If you will be getting any extra assistance with your course and the work you need to do from the college state what this will be. It may be helpful to print/photocopy details of the course and what is involved and enclose this with your letter.


I have attached more information from Skill: National Bureau of Students with Disabilities. If you have any problems this would be a good place to get more information or assistance.


Good luck with your course and possible degree.


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I could be wrong here but I haven't yet come across a case where customers in receipt of Income Support and Incapacity Benefit are viewed as fit for work if they are undertaking a training course. In fact it should be actively encouraged, especially if this course would one day help you towards work you are able to do. The only thing I would say is that degree courses do affect some benefits like Income Support as the amount of student loan you would be likely to receive would exceed the amount of Income Support you are receiving. This in turn might affect other entitlements but obviously this a long way off and I would hate to see this deter you! Put down the information in writing but for your own peace of mind you could also contact your Personal Adviser at your local Jobcentre Plus and double check that the Access course won't affect anything or change the way you are viewed. Good luck with the course

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Income Support could ask are you entitled to a grant for this course and may ask for proof that there isnt one available.


If there is one then you would have to take it or it may be assumed as notional income, that means you could have taken it decided not to as it may effect your benefit,,


there probably isnt going to be one available as its only a few hours a week, but best find out and put that in your letter as well


some grants are disregarded, eg the welsh assembly learnig grant but its best to check


Incapacity would need details on the course so send a copy to them as well


good luck hope you do well on your course

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