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Chiltern District Council
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Benefits - Students

Most full-time students are not eligible for help with their rent or council tax during the time of their course, including the summer vacations and any periods of temporary absence from the course of study.

However, if you are a part-time student or if you are in one of the exempt categories listed below, then you may be able to get assistance.

Below is a list of full-time students who can claim housing benefit:

• If you are on a Training For Work Scheme and getting a training allowance you are not classed as a student for housing benefit purposes

• Lone parents

• Students who receive Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or income related Employment Support Allowance

• Disabled students (this includes students who have a disability premium included in their applicable amount and those who have been awarded a Disabled Students' Allowance by reason of their deafness)

• Students aged under 21 - they must be following a course of further education, not higher education which started before age 19

• Students with a partner who is also a full-time student, and who have a dependent child/children

• Students under 20 on an approved non-advanced course of full-time education or training which commenced before age 19

• Students with a dependent child/children - if you are solely responsible for a child boarded out with you by a local council or voluntary organisation (including foster parents)

• Students who take a break in their studies, with the agreement of their school or college, because of a spell of illness, or of caring for someone who is ill or disabled, and that period has now ended

• Pensioners - students aged 60 or more

If you are in any of the above groups, we will be able to give you further details.

Usually full-time students are exempt from the payment of Council Tax and from 1st April 2013, working age full-time students are unable to receive council tax support.

Loan and grant income
The grant money a student receives is generally paid to cover the period they are studying. If a student is eligible for a loan or has been awarded a grant we have to assume that these amounts are paid, whether they are actually paid or not.

The money a student receives in the loan is their income for the period between the beginning of September and the end of June. This amount is then divided by the number of weeks in that period to give a weekly amount for Benefit purposes.

If a student receives a dependant's grant then this will be taken into account over the same period as their loan unless they also receive, or only receive, a grant towards their personal maintenance.

Because much of a student's loan is meant for essential educational items, some of the grant is ignored when working out their income for benefit purposes. The following elements tuition and examination fees:

• any disability allowance in your grant
• the cost of term-time residential study away from your college
• the Two Homes Grant - given when you have to maintain another home away from college
• an allowance for books and equipment
• travel expenses

If a student gets more money because they have dependants overseas, the extra they get will be ignored. Those dependants cannot then be taken into account as part of the student's household when we decide how much benefit a person is entitled to.

Students and partners
The grant may have been reduced to allow for a partner's income because he or she can make a contribution to the students expenses. An amount - equal to that contribution - is then ignored when we work out your joint income for benefit purposes. If a student is required to contribute to his own grant income, an equivalent amount is disregarded from the income used to assess that contribution.

Loans from the Student Loans Company
The maximum loan available to a student will be taken into account regardless of whether they have borrowed up to their limit or not. The loan will be divided by the number of weeks between the beginning of September and the end of June to arrive at a weekly figure for assessment purposes. Up to £10 a week of the loan may be ignored.