Full time students and benefits - Benefits during time out from study
Find out more about the definition of a full-time student for benefit purposes and whether you can claim any benefits or tax credits
Benefits during time out from study
If you are a full-time student, whether you can get benefits during time out from study depends on the reason for taking time out and the benefit concerned.
You can continue to get Universal Credit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) during your time out from study if you are a student who can get these benefits while studying.
Illness or caring responsibilities
If you are a full-time student and you need to take time out, for example due to illness or because you need to care for someone temporarily, you still count as a full-time student. You will therefore only qualify for the benefits you could get while studying.
If you aren't eligible for a student grant or loan, you may be entitled to Universal Credit, Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support for up to a year once your illness or caring responsibilities have come to an end. This is while you are waiting to rejoin the course (for example, until the start of the next academic term).
You may be treated as having student support income, such as student loans or grants during this period.
If you are a full-time student and you take time out from your studies because you are pregnant, you will not be able to get most means-tested benefits, unless you are a student who can qualify for these benefits while studying.
Once the baby is born, you may then be able to get
- Universal Credit
- Income Support if you are a lone parent
- Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support (if you are a lone parent or a member of a couple who are responsible for a child and are both full-time students)
- Maternity Allowance or Statutory Maternity Pay if you have been working.
If you are a full-time student and are taking time out from your studies for other reasons, such as to resit exams, you will still be treated as a full-time student and will not be able to claim means-tested benefits, unless you are a student who can get these benefits while studying.
Reviewed: November 2021