You may be able to claim welfare benefits if you are between 18 years old and retirement age, have UK nationality, ‘settled’, or ‘refugee’ status, or are an EU or EEA national (subject to other conditions that also apply).
There are essentially two types of benefits:
- Means-tested benefits, (mainly Universal Credit) for those who are short of income
- Benefits for specific circumstances, such as maternity or disability
We can help you navigate the different types of benefits with the detailed information on the Student Hub. If you are on interruption and don’t currently have access to the Student Hub, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call for more information.
Benefits during an interruption from study
Full-time students on an interruption of study still count as full-time students for benefits purposes. Whether you can get benefits during a break in study depends on the reason for taking time out and the benefit concerned.
If you are successfully claiming a means-tested benefit such as Universal Credit, a legacy benefit such as Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, you can still claim them during your time out from study, subject to their other criteria.
Illness or caring responsibilities
If you are on an interruption of study due to illness or being a carer whose situation has recovered, but you are waiting to restart study, you can claim Universal Credit.
Pregnancy and Parenthood
Single parents and sole carers (including some foster carers) can still claim Universal Credit while being a registered student. This includes periods of interruption. Being on an interruption of study does not affect the entitlement to the variety of allowances that may be assessable before and/or after the expected time of birth. These benefits and their eligibility are laid out at gov.uk
The above information is correct at the time of writing, however due to continuous changes to state benefits we strongly recommend seeking advice from gov.uk or trained specialists at either your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Salford Welfare Rights.