Welfare Benefits

What government benefits are you eligible to claim whilst studying.

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This information is provided by the
Student Support & Advice Team

Claiming welfare benefits whilst studying on a full time basis

Most full-time students (this includes undergraduate and postgraduate) are not eligible for means-tested welfare benefits including Universal Credit.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule including;

  • Students who are lone (single) parents
  • Disabled students and students with ongoing health conditions who have Limited Capability for Work and are in receipt of a disability benefit such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Students with a non-student partner who are eligible for welfare benefits
  • Couples who are both students and responsible for a child

If you were previously claiming welfare benefits such as Universal Credit solely due to low income and you do not belong to any of the above categories, you will not be able to continue to claim once you start your full-time studies, as the benefit rules do not allow this. You will need to notify your Universal Credit work coach through your online journal that you are a full-time student and your claim will be reassessed.

Claiming welfare benefits whilst studying on a part time basis

If you are studying on a part time basis you may be eligible to make a claim for means-tested benefits There may be exceptions depending on the number of hours you study.

Claiming welfare benefits once you have stopped studying

When you have completed your course, you may be able to claim benefits. The date you can claim from may be earlier than you think; you do not have to wait for your final results. Once you have actively completed your course, sat your last exam or submitted your final assignment etc you may be able to make an application.

Which benefits can I claim?

If you meet the basic eligibility rules as a new claimant, you may be eligible for Universal Credit (UC).

If you are claiming so-called legacy benefits like Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA), Income Support (IS), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit (HB) and Tax Credits, your eligibility for these may continue or you might be required to claim Universal Credit (UC), depending on your personal circumstances, for example, where you live or whether you have a disability or dependent children.

Will my Student Finance affect my claim for benefits

Claiming benefits while you are a student can be complicated as your Student Finance income will normally affect your claim for means-tested benefits. How much benefit you get will depend on what income is counted in the assessment of your welfare benefits under the relevant welfare benefits rules. You must tell each of the offices that pay your benefit(s) about your Student Finance income as well as any other sources of income you have.

Further Information

Further information can be found through the links below;

Universal Credit and students – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Who is a full-time student for benefit purposes? – Turn2us

Who is a part-time student for benefit purposes? – Turn2us


If you would like to speak to someone about possible benefit entitlement, Student Support and Advice can help. We give specialist, confidential advice to both enrolled and prospective students at the University of Lincoln. To book a confidential telephone appointment with a specialist adviser, please email studentsupport@lincoln.ac.uk, or telephone Student Support on 01522 837080. 


Enrolled and prospective students can complete the Benefit Calculation Sheet below and email it to advice@lincoln.ac.uk for further assistance.

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