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Benefits for students

There may be help available if you are a student.

Council Tax

A Council Tax exemption or discount may be available if you are a full time student.

You are classed as a full time student if you are undertaking a full-time program of study, tuition or work experience at a recognised establishment of at least one year which lasts at least 24 weeks in each academic or calendar year and which amounts to an average of at least 21 hours per week in each academic or calendar year.

If you live in a household where everyone is a full-time student then the household will be exempt from paying council tax.

If all but one of the adults living in a property are full time students, a 25% discount may apply.  If there are other adults residing at the property, a discount or exemption may still be available depending on their circumstances.

If you start to live in the property before your course starts, you may be charged council tax for that period.

Once you reach the official end date of your course you will be classed as an adult for council tax purposes and will no longer be exempt as a student.

If you do not qualify for a Council Tax exemption or discount you may be entitled to Council Tax Reduction.

Universal Credit

You can study part time and claim Universal Credit (UC) unless it is not compatible with your Claimant Commitment.

Full time students can only claim UC in very limited circumstances:

  • You are getting Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Attendance Allowance (AA) and before you start your course you have been assessed as having limited capability for work.
  • You are responsible for a child.  You must have a child under 16, or 16-19 in full-time non-advanced education.
  • You are under 21 (or are 21 but were under that age when you started your course) on a full time non-advanced course and are without parental support.
  • You are a single foster parent.
  • You are one of a couple, your partner is also a student and they are responsible for a child  (including as a foster parent).
  • You are over pension age and your partner has not yet reached that age.
  • You have taken time out of your course because of illness, disability or caring responsibilities and have now recovered or your caring responsibilities have ended and you are not eligible for a grant or loan.
  • You have a partner who is not a student or who is able to claim as a student themselves.

If you have student income it will usually count as income for UC.  Student income includes student loans and grants paid to you for your course.  UC takes almost all of student income into account.

If you are eligible for a student loan it counts as income.  The maximum loan to which you are entitled will be taken into account as student income regardless of whether you actually take it or not.  If you do not get a loan any grant for your maintenance is taken fully into account.

Student income is taken into account in the monthly assessment period in which the course begins and each further monthly assessment period during which you are undertaking the course.  It is disregarded in the assessment period in which the last week of the course or the start of the long (usually Summer) vacation falls.  It continues to be disregarded during any assessment periods that fall completely in the long vacation.

Legacy benefits

Legacy benefits are Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income-related Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Housing Benefit.

If you are already receiving a legacy benefit and want to know how becoming a student will impact your entitlement please contact us for advice.

Carer Support Payment

You can claim Carer Support Payment as a student if you meet all other qualifying criteria and are:

  • aged 16 and over and studying part-time (less than 21 hours per week)
  • aged 16 to 19 studying full-time (21 hours per week or more) advanced education
  • aged 20 or over studying full-time (21 hours per week or more) regardless of the level of education

Carer Support Payment will not count as income for Scottish Funding Council (SFC) or Scottish Students Awards Agency (SAAS )funding assessments for student carers.

Carer Support Payment will count as income for SFC and SAAS household assessments for the wider household such as partners or parents/guardians.

Students cannot receive Carer Support Payment if they are:

  • aged 16 to 19 and studying full-time, non-advanced education

These students can access support through Young Carer Grant and Education Maintenance Allowance .

Other concessions

There may be other concessions available depending on your circumstances.

Studying in Perth and Kinross

Perth College UHI have further useful information and advice.

Last modified on 11 April 2024

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