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ESA / Studying


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Hello all,


Am looking for some advice / clarification regarding studying and ESA.


I had my second Pathways interview last week and the advisor stated that I could start studying and still claim some ESA. It sounds too good to be true. I am not able to work at the moment but don't want to be on benefits long term so studying (at my own pace and with support) to enable me to gain qualifications for future employment seems a good choice.


I don't expect it to be the full amount of ESA, that would be ridiculous but any help would be appreciated to help me get back on my feet.


Can anyone please confirm one way or the other??


I want to make it clear that I am not a scrounger but if I am entitled to help I would like to look into it further.


Many thanks x

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IF you're in full-time education you may not be able to claim contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for young people or income-related ESA. However, the rules about studying and claiming ESA are different for the two different types of ESA.

Education includes attendance at an ordinary school or college, a sixth-form college, a special school or training centre designed specifically for people with disabilities, or home tuition arranged by the Local Education Authority.

Contributory Employment and Support Allowance

You count as a full-time student if you're at school or in other education for more than 21 hours a week. These hours don't include teaching that is specifically designed for students with disabilities and that isn't suitable for other students. What counts and what doesn't depends on teaching methods and the nature of the course. If you're on a course with other students who aren't disabled some of your learning hours may not count, for example if you need additional tuition, more time to take the full course owing to your disability or tuition that would normally suit a younger age group.

From (and including) your 19th birthday you're not counted as being in full-time education.

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

You can't normally get income-related ESA if you're in full-time education. However, if you get either component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), you'll be able to study and claim ESA.

If you're between 16 and 18 you can't normally get income-related ESA until your formal school-leaving date. You can't then claim until the date that Child Benefit ceases to be payable for you. You'll be regarded as in full-time education until the last day of your course, or until you abandon the course or are dismissed from it.

If you're under 19 but you're not a qualifying young person under the Child Benefit rules you're not treated as being in full-time education if the course of study is not a course leading to a first degree or postgraduate degree (or comparable qualifications), a higher education or higher national diploma, or any other course of a standard above advanced GNVQ or equivalent.

Full-time or part-time course?

If your course is government-funded and in England or Wales, it counts as full-time if you have more than 16 guided learning hours a week. In Scotland, your course is full-time if structured learning packages take the hours over 16 a week.

Otherwise, whether you're in full-time education depends on how your course is classed by the institution at which you're studying.

Owing to the complexity of the rules, you may wish to seek advice on whether you're entitled to ESA, about other financial help that you may be able to get as a student, or about benefits that a parent or guardian may be able to claim for you.


Have you got DLA ??

Edited by Jack Daniels
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