Benefits for Students in Scotland Handbook
Prelims
Abbreviations
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Abbreviations

 

CA carer's allowance
CTC child tax credit
DLA disability living allowance
DWP Department for Work and Pensions
ESA employment and support allowance
FE further education
HB housing benefit
HE higher education
HMRC HM Revenue and Customs
HNC Higher National Certificate
HND Higher National Diploma
IB incapacity benefit
IS income support
JSA jobseeker's allowance
MA maternity allowance
NI national insurance
NQ National Qualifications
PC pension credit
PIP  personal independence payment 
SAAS Student Awards Agency Scotland
SAP statutory adoption pay
SMP statutory maternity pay
SPP statutory paternity pay
SSS Social Security Scotland
SSP statutory sick pay
SSPP statutory shared parental pay
SVQ Scottish Vocational Qualification
UC  universal credit 
WTC working tax credit

Means-tested benefit rates 2019/20


 

Universal credit
Standard allowance £pm
Single
Under 25  251.77
25 or over 317.82
Couple
Both under 25  395.20
One or both 25 or over 498.89
Elements
Eldest child 277.08
Second and each subsequent child who qualifies 231.67
Disabled child
  Lower rate  126.11
  Higher rate 392.08
Limited capability for work (some claims only) 126.11
Limited capability for work-related activity 336.20
Carer 160.20
Childcare costs
One child  up to £646.35
Two or more children up to £1,108.04
Percentage of childcare costs covered 85%

 

Income support and income-based jobseeker's allowance
Personal allowance
Single £pw
Under 25 57.90
25 or over 73.10
Lone parent
Under 18  57.90
18 or over 73.10
Couple
Both under 18 (maximum)  87.50
One 18 or over (maximum) 114.85 
Both 18 or over 114.85
Premiums
Carer 36.85
Disability
   Single  34.35
   Couple 48.95
Enhanced disability
   Single  16.80
   Couple 24.10
Severe disability
 One qualifies  65.85
 Two qualify  131.70
Pensioner (couple) 140.40
Income-related employment and support allowance
Assessment phase
Main phase
Personal allowance

Single
Under 25 57.90 73.10
25 or over 73.10 73.10
Lone parent
Under 18 57.90 73.10
18 or over 73.10 73.10
Couple
Both under 18 (maximum) 87.50 114.85
Both 18 or over 114.85 114.85
Premiums
Carer 36.85 36.85
Severe disability
  One qualifies  65.85  65.85
  Two qualify 131.70  131.70 
Enhanced disability
    Single 16.80 16.80
    Couple 24.10 24.10
Pensioner
    Couple, usual rate 140.40 111.35
    Couple, support group 101.85
Components
Work-related activity (some claims only) 29.05
Support 38.55
Housing benefit
Personal allowance
Single
Under 25 57.90
Under 25 (on main phase employment and support allowance) 73.10 
25 or over 73.10
Lone parent
Under 18  57.90
Under 18 (on main phase employment and support allowance) 73.10 
18 or over 73.10
Couple
Both under 18 87.50
Both under 18 (claimant on main phase employment and support allowance) 114.85 
One or both 18 or over 114.85
Children (under 20) 66.90
Over pension age 
(and not on income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or universal credit)
Single 181.00
Couple 270.60
Premiums
Family (only pre-1 May 2016 claims with a child already in the family)
     Standard rate  17.45
     Some lone parents 22.20
Carer 36.85
Disability
     Single  34.35
     Couple 48.95
Disabled child 64.19
Severe disability
      One qualifies  65.85
      Two qualify 131.70
Enhanced disability
     Single  16.80
     Couple 24.10
     Child 26.04 
Components  
Work-related activity (some claims only) 29.05
Support 38.55



Non-means-tested benefit rates 2019/20

 


£pw
Attendance allowance
Higher rate 87.65
Lower rate 58.70
Bereavement benefits
Bereavement support payment (maximum lump sum) 3,500
Bereavement support payment (maximum monthly rate) 350
Carer's allowance 66.15
Child benefit
Only/eldest child 20.70
Other child(ren) 13.70
Disability living allowance
Care component
Highest 87.65
Middle 58.70
Lowest 23.20
Mobility component
Higher 61.20
Lower 23.20
Employment and support allowance (contributory)  
Assessment phase 
Basic allowance (under 25) 57.90

Basic allowance (25 or over)

73.10
Main phase
Basic allowance (16 or over) 73.10
Work-related activity component (some claims only) 29.05
Support component 38.55
Guardian's allowance 17.60
Jobseeker's allowance (contribution-based)
Under 25 57.90
25 or over 73.10
Maternity allowance
Standard rate 148.68
Variable rate 90% of earnings
Personal independence payment
Daily living component
Enhanced rate 87.65
Standard rate 58.70
Mobility component
Enhanced rate 61.20 
Standard rate 23.20 
Retirement pensions 
State pension 168.60 
Category A 129.20 
Statutory adoption pay 145.18
Statutory maternity pay
Standard rate 145.18
Variable rate 90% of earnings
Statutory paternity pay 148.68
Statutory shared parental pay 148.68
Statutory sick pay 94.25

 

 


Tax credit rates 2019/20
Child tax credit £ per day £ per year
Family element (some claims only)  1.49 545
Child element  7.60 2,780
Disabled child element  9.17 3,355
Severely disabled child element  3.72 1,360
Working tax credit  
Basic element  5.36 1,960
Couple element  5.50 2,010
Lone parent element  5.50 2,010
30-hour element  2.22 810
Disabled worker element  8.65 3,165
Severe disability element  3.73 1,365
Childcare element  
Eligible childcare costs to a weekly maximum of:   70% of £175
  One child    
  Two or more children   70% of £300
Income thresholds  
Working tax credit only or with child tax credit   6,420
Child tax credit only   16,105

 


How to use this Handbook

This Handbook is intended for students and those who advise students, or potential students, in Scotland about their entitlement to benefits and tax credits. It outlines the benefit and tax credit rules and focuses on issues relevant to students. It covers both further and higher education. For more detailed information on the rules, see CPAG's Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook.

This Handbook covers rules affecting students studying in Scotland who are eligible for support through Scottish funding bodies such as the Student Awards Agency Scotland. It does not cover the rules for students getting support from England, Wales or Northern Ireland, or elsewhere outside Scotland.


Up to date

This Handbook was up to date on 1 July 2019 and is intended to be used for the academic year 2019/20. Rates of grants and loans used are those for the 2019/20 academic year. Benefit and tax credit rates used are those from April 2019.

Check CPAG's online version of this Handbook for updates in April 2020 at www.onlinepublications.cpag.org.uk.


Full-time students

Most full-time students are excluded from benefits, mainly those benefits where entitlement relies on a means test. There is one definition of 'full-time student' used for most means-tested benefits – ie, income support, jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance and housing benefit. Other definitions are used for universal credit (UC), carer's allowance and for council tax. Some students, however, can claim means-tested benefits despite being classed as full time. If you are excluded from one benefit, do not therefore assume that you are excluded from all of them. Who counts as a 'full-time student', or as 'receiving education' for UC, is explained in detail in the relevant chapters.


Structure of the Handbook

A benefit chart on Cross reference provides an overview of benefit and tax credit entitlement for students. You may want to use this as a starting point to check possible entitlement and then use the individual chapters for details.

Part 1 looks at students' entitlement to benefits and tax credits. Part 2 gives a glossary of student support in further and higher education, and Part 3 considers how each kind of support affects entitlement to universal credit, other means-tested benefits, tax credits and health benefits. Part 4 considers other matters – council tax and benefits if you take time out from your studies.

Chapters have endnotes with references to the legal sources. Where an abbreviation is used in the endnotes or in the text, this is explained in Appendix 3 and on Cross reference. If you are appealing against a benefit or tax credit decision, you may want to refer to the law. Appendix 1 suggests where you can find legislation and caselaw.


Further information, training and advice

CPAG, with Scottish government funding, continues to make this Handbook available free online at www.onlinepublications.cpag.org.uk, and provides training, advice and information to advisers in Scotland on benefits for people who are studying or thinking of studying. Please contact Angela Toal on 0141 552 8361, or see https://cpag.org.uk/scotland/welfare-rights/students-benefits for details of the support we offer. If you are an adviser and have a specific query on benefits and students, contact our advice line on 0141 552 0552 between 10am and 4pm Monday to Thursday or between 10am and 12 noon on Fridays, or email advice@cpagscotland.org.uk.

Please send any comments, corrections or suggestions for inclusion in the next edition to CPAG in Scotland, Unit 9, Ladywell, 94 Duke Street, Glasgow G4 0UW; email: staff@cpagscotland.org.uk.


Benefits and tax credits: overview

The following chart summarises the benefits and tax credits you may be able to claim depending on your circumstances. In each case, there are other tests you must pass to be entitled. The page number in the last column takes you to the relevant chapter, where you will find more details about the rules of entitlement. Part 3 explains which benefits are affected by any grant or loan you get. Terms such as 'full time', 'part time' and 'student' are explained in each benefit chapter. Note: new claims cannot usually be made for income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, housing benefit and tax credits.

 

Your circumstances

Benefit or tax credit

Page

Aged 16–18 (and some 19-year-olds) in full-time further education

 

 

Have a child  Income support  

 

 

 

 



Cross reference

 

   Housing benefit  

Cross reference

   Child tax credit  

 

Cross reference

   Child benefit  

 

Cross reference 

 

Universal credit

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Cross reference

 

Aged 16–20 (and some 21-year-olds) in full-time further education    
 

Orphan, estranged or separated from parents

Income support

Housing benefit

Universal credit

 Cross reference

 Cross reference

 Cross reference

Living away from parents

Housing benefit

Cross reference

Full-time student

 

 

Single

Health benefits

Cross reference

Lone parent of child under five

Income support

Housing benefit

Child tax credit

Child benefit

Universal credit

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

 

Student couple with a child, or lone parent

 

Long vacation

 

 

Jobseeker's allowance

Income support (if eligible)

All year

Housing benefit

 

Child tax credit

Child benefit

Universal credit

Cross reference

 

Cross reference

Cross reference Cross reference  

Couple, one student

Income support

Jobseeker's allowance

Employment and support allowance

Housing benefit

 

Child tax credit

Child benefit

Universal credit

Cross reference  

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference  

 

Cross reference

Cross reference Cross reference  

Part-time student

Income support

Jobseeker's allowance

Employment and support allowance

Housing benefit

Universal credit

 

Cross reference

 

Cross reference

Cross reference  

 

Cross reference

Cross reference  

 

 

Working

 

 

Under 16 hours

Part-time student

 

Income support

Jobseeker's allowance

Full-time student

Income support (if eligible)

 

 

Cross reference

At least 16 hours a week (24 for most couples) and have a child

Working tax credit

Cross reference

At least 16 hours a week and have a disability

Working tax credit

Cross reference

At least 30 hours a week and aged 25 or over

Working tax credit

Cross reference

 

At least 16 hours a week and aged 60 or over

Working tax credit

Cross reference

 

Any number of hours  Universal credit (if eligible)  Cross reference

Sick or disabled

 

Employment and support allowance

Housing benefit

Personal independence payment

Health benefits

Universal credit

 

 

 

 

 

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

 

Recovered and waiting to return to studies

Housing benefit

Jobseeker's allowance

Universal credit

 

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference  

 

Having a baby

 

 

Under 18

Best Start foods

Best Start grant

Cross reference Cross reference

 

Getting certain benefits/tax credits

Best Start foods

Best Start grant

 

Cross reference

 

Working or recently working

Maternity allowance

Statutory maternity pay

Statutory shared parental pay

Working tax credit

Universal credit

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference  

When the child is born

Child tax credit

Child benefit

Universal credit

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

Studying part time

Income support

Cross reference

 

Partner having a baby

Statutory paternity pay

Statutory shared parental pay

Cross reference

Cross reference

 

Adopting a child

Statutory adoption pay

Cross reference

 

Caring for someone sick or disabled

 

 

Studying part time

Carer's allowance

Income support

Universal credit

 

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

 

Waiting to return to studies after taking time out to care

Jobseeker's allowance

Housing benefit

Universal credit

 

 

 

Cross reference

Cross reference

Cross reference

 

 

Need dental treatment or glasses

Health benefits

Cross reference

Reached pension age 

Pension credit

Housing benefit

 

 

 

Cross reference

 

 

 

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