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Full time students and benefits - Can full-time students claim Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Income Support?

Find out more about the definition of a full-time student for benefit purposes and whether you can claim any benefits or tax credits

Can full-time students claim Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Income Support?

Most people cannot make new claims for Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Income Support. If you already have a claim for one of these benefits, it is possible you might be able to continue claiming it while you study.

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

Even if you are unemployed and looking for work, you will not be entitled to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) (income-related or contributory) if you are a full-time student.

The exception to this is;

  • If you are a lone parent
  • A member of a couple with a child where both of you are full-time students and you claim during your summer holidays.
  • If you are attending a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) related course or scheme for a limited period (seek specialist advice in this case)

You may also be able to get JSA for a limited period after taking time out from study.

If you receive student support in the form of a grant or loan, this will probably reduce the amount of income-based JSA you can get.

Income Support

Most full-time students are not entitled to Income Support. However, you may be entitled to this benefit as a full-time student if you are:

  • A lone parent with a child under five

  • A lone foster parent of a child under 16

  • Receiving long-term Incapacity Benefit

  • A refugee who is learning English to obtain employment

  • Under 21 or reached 21 whilst enrolled on or accepted on a full-time non-advanced course and you are without parental support.

If you receive student support in the form of a grant or loan, this will probably reduce the amount of Income Support you can get.
 

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