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Students and Benefits

Anyone who is claiming social security benefits and who is thinking about going into education needs to consider the impact of being in study on their benefit claim/s. The rules about claiming benefits as a student can be complicated and student finance can affect the amount of benefit payable.

The following is a brief overview of the benefit system and how it relates to students. However, we would encourage any student who has a question concerning their eligibility for benefits to contact SU Advice for specific advice and guidance relative to their individual circumstances.

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  • Income Related Benefits
  • Non-Income Related Benefits
  • Carers Allowance

    Carer’s Allowance (CA) may be paid to those aged 16 or over who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is ill or has a disability. The person being cared for must get one of the following benefits: 

    • Personal Independence Payment (daily living component) 
    • Disability Living Allowance (middle or high rate for personal care) 
    • Attendance Allowance 
    • Constant Attendance Allowance (no less than the full-day rate) 
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment 

    Those who are enrolled on a course of study which is described by their college or university as being a full-time course are not eligible for CA, regardless of how many hours of study are undertaken each week.

    Students undertaking a part-time course which requires less than 21 hours a week of study may be able to claim CA, providing they satisfy the basic rules of entitlement. The total hours of study include not just classes, lectures, and seminars, but also individual study for coursework undertaken, on or off campus.

    Further information on CA can be found on the NIDirect website here.

Please contact SU Advice if you have any questions or queries regarding any other social security benefits, including:

  • Universal Credit
  • Maternity, paternity, and other parental benefits
  • Health Benefits
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Tax Credits
  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit