Single parent and studying full time

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  • #43815 Report

    Kishapd
    Participant

    Hi all

    I need a bit of advice please if anyone can help me?

    I am due to start university in the next couple of weeks, full time. I currently work part time too, but as I am now starting uni full time and still needing to be mom whilst fitting in assignments etc, I am wondering what help I would be entitled to if i stopped working altogether. My children are aged 16 and 11 and my course is for 3 years. I currently get working/child tax credit and my wages at the moment but i have to pay a lot of that out as i dont get full housing or council tax benefit and i have to pay for school meals.

    I would of stayed in my employment if they were willing to be flexible like I was told they would be, but now I’m only being given 14hours per week unless I am willing to work weekends.

    I’m really unsure what to do, I’ve worked for the same company for the last 10years so i dont know the new eligibility rules about becoming unemployed whilst studying

    #43913 Report

    Hermione
    Participant

    Hey, congratulations on getting on your course. I think advise of this type is quite specific to your circumstances so it’s hard to say accurately, but will you be eligible for a childcare grant for your course? I’m starting a masters in January and I had no idea about the childcare grant even though I declared my child on my maintenance loan application. Once I found out I just had to complete a seperate  form and they added it to my other application. This covers 85% of your childcare up to a limit which is a huge cost eliminated!!!!! Because a lot of uni will be remote learning this year, that might help you to be able to work without having to pay out too much childcare, as long as you’re able to make up your uni work outside of your paid work. You can still continue to get child tax credits and child benefit, you might be eligible to get some housing benefit and some income support even if you get student loan but this depends on your maintenance loan etc. I know they eliminate around £3,000 so it’s only the total after that which will be counted as your income. You should also get a grant because of having a child, which you won’t have to pay back. I think mine was around £1,700 and that made up part of my maintenance loan. I think with all this support it should be plenty for you to live on. Remember that you don’t have to pay council tax when you’re a student so make sure you apply for that. You also get discount in a lot of places too. I hope this helps and apologies if some of the info wasn’t relevant to your course. I know it’s tough studying as a single parent but it will pay off when you finish. Most unis have a hardship fund too so if you are struggling initially once you stop working you could always look into that aswell.

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