Universal Credit:Written question - 14616

Asked on: 10 February 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the quarterly payment schedule of student finance on universal credit calculations for claimants who are responsible for one or more children; and whether she plans to halt the reduction of payments for those claimants whilst the fluctuations in income are adequately assessed.
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 17 February 2020

Most full-time students in education do not qualify for Universal Credit. Students are able to access funding to support their education courses through various loans and grants, which are the responsibility of the Department for Education. It is important that Universal Credit does not duplicate this support, which is designed for their needs unlike the social security system. Exceptions are made only where students have additional needs that are not met through the student support system.

The full year’s award of student’s maintenance loan/grant is averaged out over the academic year. This average usually covers 10 monthly Assessment Periods as no student income is taken into account during the summer break. The amount taken into account is subject to a £110 disregard in each of these Assessment Periods, which is equivalent to that provided under Legacy Benefits, which includes an amount to cover the cost of books, travel and equipment.

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