You are now leaving the Turn2us site. Turn2us is not responsible for content on third party sites.



Full time students and benefits - Can full-time students get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?

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 get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?

Contributory ESA

If you are not able to work due to illness or disability, you may be entitled to contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) while you are a full-time student if you have previously worked and paid national insurance contributions.

Income-related ESA

It is no longer possible for most people to make new claims for income-related ESA. Income-related ESA has been replaced for new claimants by Universal Credit.

As a full-time student, you will only be able to claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance if you are also getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP). or Armed Forces Independence Payment

If you are a full time student who is getting DLA, you count as having limited capability for work without having to have a Work Capability Assessment.

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

Work Capability Assessment

You are only entitled to ESA if you satisfy the Work Capability Assessment. If activities you do as part of your course suggest that you do not meet this test, you could lose this benefit. For example, if you are getting ESA because you said you have problems with walking and your course involves a lot of physical activity, this could cause your ESA claim to be reviewed.

If you are claiming Universal Credit as a student who has limited capability for work, you will need to satisfy the Work Capability Assessment. If activities you do as part of your course suggest that you do not meet this test, you could lose this benefit.

Anything wrong with this page?

Tell us the problem

Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter what you were doing
Please enter what you'd like to report
Please enter the security code shown
Close

Thank you

If you would like to tell us more please visit our contact page

Close

Check benefit entitlement

Find out what means-tested benefits you might be entitled to, including tax credits.

Use the Benefits Calculator

Grant Search

Search our database of grant-giving organisations

Search for grants