Most full-time students cannot claim Housing Benefit. This is because the government expects them to use other money like their grant, student loan or access funds to pay towards their rent.
As a student you are able to claim if you:

  • are a part-time student (studying under 16 hours per week)
  • are a student who is responsible for a child or young person (as part of a couple, where both are students, as a single parent)
  • are a single foster parent
  • are 60 or over
  • get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • meet the conditions for the Disability Premium or Severe Disability Premium (these are allowances we use to work out benefit for people who meet certain conditions)
  • you have been or have been treated as incapable to work for 28 weeks (as decided by the DWP)
  • qualify for a disabled student's allowance because they are deaf
  • are under 21 and not in higher education e.g. not at university
  • have a partner who is not a student (the non student will need to claim)
  • have had to interrupt their course, with the approval of the college or university, due to illness or caring responsibilities.

As a student who can claim, any grants and loans will be treated as income. Grant income means any kind of educational award or grant. Student loans are treated as income if you are eligible to receive one. We take the full loan into account even if you choose to borrow a lesser amount than is available or whether you choose not to take out a loan at all. A weekly income disregard of £10 applies to loan income. Any other sources of income will be treated in the normal way for Housing Benefit purposes.

Post graduate who receive a post graduate loan will have 30% of the total loan treated as income for benefit purposes.

Students from abroad

If you are a student and come to study from outside Europe, you will probably not be able to claim any Housing Benefit, even if you are in one of the groups of students who can. It depends on the conditions under which you came into this country. Students from abroad, we need to provide information about their immigration status before we can deal with your Housing Benefit claim. If you are a student from Europe, you can only claim Housing Benefit if you fall into one of the categories of students who can claim as detailed above. If you are not sure whether if your can claim, please contact us for advice.

Student nurses

Students funded by the National Health Service (NHS) may claim Housing Benefit under the same rules which apply to other students as detailed above.
If you are paid a NHS bursary, we will treat it as income subject to any relevant amounts which can be disregarded. You may also receive a student loan, in which case, we will count your student loan in the same way we do for students in general.