Universal Credit and Students
Generally, as a student you cannot claim Universal Credit as there are other means of financial support designed for students. However, there are some key exceptions to this rule which allow some students to claim Universal Credit.
If you are studying full-time at non-advanced level or you are on a traineeship or similar and you are aged between 16 and 19, you may be classed as a qualifying young person and be included in someone else’s claim for Universal Credit.
You count as a student for Universal Credit if you are:
- on a full-time course of advanced education,
- on another full-time course for which a loan, grant or bursary is provided for your maintenance, or
- (if none of the above apply) on a course which is not compatible with your work-related requirements in your Universal Credit claimant commitment.
If you are a student and you are aged 16 or 17 you can only claim Universal Credit in your own name if you are:
- responsible for a child (including while you are pregnant for the period between 11 weeks before and 15 weeks after the expected date of confinement);
- ill/disabled; or
- estranged from your parents and in non-advanced education
If you do not fall into one of the categories above and so are not classed as a student for Universal Credit then you can claim Universal Credit under the normal rules.
If you are classed as a student, you cannot claim Universal Credit unless you are in one of the groups below. Similarly, if you are already claiming Universal Credit and you become a student, you will not be able to continue to get Universal Credit unless you are in one of the groups below.
You can claim Universal Credit as a student if:
- you are responsible for a child;
- you are ill/disabled. You must have limited capability for work (assessed by the DWP) and also get disability living allowance (DLA) or personal independence payment (PIP);
- you are a single foster parent (this includes some single kinship carers);
- you are a member of a couple and you are over the qualifying age for state pension credit and your partner has not reached their state pension age;
- you are under 21 (or are 21 but were under that age when you started your course) on a full-time non-advanced course and are estranged from your parents or living away from them in other specified circumstances;
- you have taken time out because of illness/disability or caring responsibilities and have now recovered or your caring responsibilities have ended, and you are not eligible for a grant or loan; or
- you have a partner who is not a student, or who is a student and one or both of you fit into one of the groups above.
More information about Universal Credit and the transition to Universal Credit is available on our website for advisers and on the GOV.UK website on the following pages:
More information about financial support for students can be found on the GOV.UK website: