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Universal Credit and Part-Time Student


Mr. Jackson
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Hi Guys,

I'm new here. I have been in receipt of Universal Credit with limited capability for work and work related activities for a few years now, after winning my DWP health tribunal. I do not receive PIP payments. I am still receiving treatment but I am making progress. I now feel that I am in a position to refocus on work and career ambitions. I would like to study a part-time MA at university. This would involve taught study at the university one day a week for my course requirements. I have been informed that you can still receive UC if you are studying part-time in higher education. However, does anyone know if this still applies if you are in receipt of the health component of Universal Credit? Or would the DWP simply say that if you are able to study part-time and attend university one day a week you are able to be classed as available for work?

If anyone has information that can help me with this I would be so grateful, thanks.

Mr. Jackson

 

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As you have LCWRA, you don't have work related activities, so DWP/Job Centre does not require you to search for work or attend any Job Centre for job search appointments.

You are able to attend any educational course and it does not immediately affect the LCWRA. However, when you have the next assessment to reassess the LCWRA award, the health professional will take everything into consideration, including that you have started to study part-time at University.

And you need to check with student finance to see if you are eligible for any student maintenance loans.  If you are eligible for student maintenance loans, you would need to inform Universal Credit at the same time as you inform them you have started the University Course.  And you inform Universal Credit by calling 0800 328 5644, as soon as you have the information available to confirm the course start date and any student finance.

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Hello unclebulgaria67,

Thank you very much for this helpful response.

Do you think though that DWP would bring a health assessment forward so I have it sooner because I am able to attend university one day a week?

In relation to the finance side of things I will be receiving just under £12,000 as an MA loan from Student Finance. However, £10,200 of it will go to the University in tuition fees. So yes I will have just under £1800 to pay for expenses, including using public transport to and from the University which is 10 miles from where I live. Does that £1800 qualify as income and needs to be declared to DWP? Even though it's a loan?

Thanks,

Mr. Jackson

 

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No they cannot bring the reassessment forward, as the review period was set at the time the LCWRA was awarded.

UC would not be affected by the £10200 towards tuition fees and would also not be affected by the £1800 towards expenses.

It is whether you would be eligible for maintenance towards living costs.  UC will ask you, if you were eligible for maintenance loans, so you need to check.  If you are a postgraduate, then it appears that maintenance loans do not apply.

WWW.GOV.UK

Student finance - student loans or student grants for tuition fees and living costs, extra help, student loan repayments.

 

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi unclebulgaria67,

Thanks again for your reply, I appreciate the information.

The link you provided is for undergraduate students from what I can tell. I will be doing an MA part-time and so the Masters loan from Student Finance is to be used by the student how they see fit. In my case as I said £10,200 will go to tuition fees, which I will be able to prove with payments receipts and bank statements if necessary. The grey area in all of this is the remaining £1800. But you have said that part also won't affect UC.

Therefore, if I am allowed to study part-time on UC without it affecting my LCWRA status, or triggering a new health assessment and the MA loan is not treated as income, do I have to inform UC at all then? I obviously don't want to invite problems that are avoidable, if possible.

Thanks,

Mr. Jackson

 

 

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Yes you have to inform UC. Use your journal to confirm details of the course. They need course start date, University attending, Course title, that it is part time, end date of the summer term in 2024, expected end date of the course. And they need of the finance.

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi unclebulgaria67,

Thanks for your response.

I am allowed to do part-time study with a LCWRA status as you highlight. You have further stated the £12000 MA loan from Student Finance is not going to affect the UC. Around 80% of the loan will go towards tuition fees anyway. But I can appreciate the DWP may interpret the remaining 20% as being used for maintenance purposes. This is the part I can understand why I might have to tell the DWP that I'm starting this course. Although most of the remaining 20% will simply go towards my course costs. 

I'm struggling to see how this is any business of the DWP actually. The fact I am receiving this student loan should not obviate the requirement for the state to pay benefits, should it? After all the loan is just that, it's money I have to pay back. Just as if I had taken out a £500 loan from a bank or other financial institute to help pay bills or other costs as my benefits don't cover all the basics, surely I wouldn't be expected to write an entry on my journal informing DWP that I have taken out a £500 loan, right?

Mr. Jackson

 

 

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Unfortunately it is something you need to tell Universal Credit about. Failure to do so, could lead to an overpayment of benefits being owed.

As it is post graduate masters loan slightly different treatment applies under UC. This is explained in following link.

WWW.TURN2US.ORG.UK

Find out how much a full-time student might get in Universal Credit if you can claim it

Student finance can be complicated in regard to UC ! 

For disabled students some amounts can be disregarded, which is why I was thinking the £1800 might be an amount that could be disregarded. If so, this is usually mentioned on the student finance documents.

I would suggest you report in your journal the course and finance info. And also request that the case manager asks for a question about policy to be raised about the course being part time and for a disabled student. Would UC apply disregards in regard to the student finance loans ? You  have said £10200 is to cover course fees and £1800 towards transport etc. So point out there is no maintenance loan applicable to part time post graduate course.

 

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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