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Students in England

If you are eligible to claim Universal Credit as a student and your course has a student grant or loan available, these could be counted as income and cause a deduction to your UC payments during the academic year. UC will take into account any regarded student income you are eligible for, whether you choose to apply or accept it.

You can follow our guide here to find out what will be regarded as income by UC and how much you can expect to have deducted during the academic year. This deduction figure is only helpful if you know what you are entitled to from UC before deduction for student income - Calculate your UC payment.

The formula for student income deduction for UC is fairly simple. Amount of regarded student income divided by relevant number of assessment periods and ignore £110. This figure is applied as a deduction to your total UC entitlement £ for £ (it is not treated as earnings).

 

How much will be regarded as income

If you have a maintenance loan available (jump to rules specific to Postgraduate Loan):

Your maintenance loan will regarded as income, excluding any Special Support Element.

Most of the people on UC who have qualify for Special Support Element are single parents or students with disability benefit (PIP or DLA).

If you qualify for Special Support Element, Student Finance England replace part of the Maintenance Loan with an amount that does not need repaid. Special Support Element is disregarded as income by Universal Credit.


If you have Special Support Element, it may be clearly labelled on your student finance award letter: Maintenance Loan £xxxx, of which the Special Support Element equals £xxxx.

Other times it may be vague and state: The Department of Work and Pensions will only consider any amount over £xxxx of your Maintenance Loan as student income when they work out how much state benefits you can get.

Any grant or bursary intended for the maintenance of someone else on your claim (Dependants' Grant) depending on who this is for will be regarded as income.

Any grant or bursary specifically intended for housing costs that UC also provides housing element for will be regarded as income.
All other grants or bursary will be disregarded.

 

If you do not have a maintenance loan available:

All grants and bursaries will be counted as income, except for any grant or bursary intended for:

  • for tuition or examination fees

  • for disability (DSA)

  • for childcare costs

  • for maintaining a home other than that at which they reside during the course if not met through the housing costs

  • for books and equipment (Initial fees expenses, etc.)

  • for travel expenses incurred for course attendance

  • to meet the needs of another person but not a joint claimant or child dependant

  • for additional expenditure in connection with term time residential study away from the students educational establishment

Number of relevant assessment periods

You will need your official course dates to work out the number of relevant assessment periods that UC will apply a deduction.  You can usually find your official course dates on course provider website, academic planner or by contacting your course provider.

The first deduction will be the assessment period your course starts in.
There will be a deduction for each assessment period throughout your course.

There will not be a deduction for the assessment period the academic ends in or long vacation starts in (for example, break between 1st and 2nd year).

Example: 

Assessment period 17th to 16th.

Course starts: 28th September.

The first deduction will be for assessment period 17th September to 16th October.

Course ends: 19th June.

There will be no deduction for assessment period 17th June to 16th July.

The last deduction will be for assessment period 17th May to 16th June.

This is 9 relevant assessment periods.

Working out the deduction

Now you have your regarded amount of student income and the relevant number of assessment periods, you can work out the deduction from your UC payment during the academic year.

Total regarded student income divided by number of assessment periods then deduct £110. This figure will be deducted per relevant assessment period, regardless of your student income payment schedule.

 

We have a calculator for you to help with the maths. You can access this calculator by clicking here but we have provided some real life examples with the working out for you.

Example Zoe

Zoe has a maintenance loan and Special Support Element so all grants and bursaries are disregarded unless they are awarded for particular circumstances specified.

Maintenance Loan of £12,141 of which Special Support Element £4,014 (Amount of maintenance loan minus Special Support Element is regarded)

Parents' Learning Allowance £1,821 (ignored as this is a grant and there is a Maintenance Loan. This grant is not intended for the maintenance of someone else on the claim and it is not intended for housing costs)

Childcare Allowance £7,640 (always ignored)

Total regarded student income is £12,141 - £4014 is £8,127.

UC assessment period is 13th to 12th.

Course starts 21st September.

First deduction is 13th September to 12thOctober.

Course ends 23rd June.

No deduction 13th June to 12th July.

Last deduction is 13th June to 12th July.​

1. 13th September to 12th October

2. 13th October to 12th November

3. 13th November to 12th December

4. 13th December to 12th January

5. 13th January to 12th February

6. 13th February to 12th March

7. 13th March to 12th April

8. 13th April to 12th May

£8,127 divided by 8 assessment periods is £1,015.88

£1,015.88 - £110 is £905.88

A reminder that we have a calculator that does the maths for you. You can access this calculator by clicking here.

Zoe will have £905.88 deducted per month from assessment period ending 12th October to 12th May.

There will be no deduction for assessment period ending 12th June onwards.

Example Ellie:

Ellie has a maintenance loan so all grants and bursaries are disregarded unless they are awarded for particular circumstances specified.

Maintenance Loan of £10,610 with no special support element (always regarded)

Adult Dependant Grant £3,094 (regarded as this is a grant for the maintenance of her partner who is on the UC claim)

Parents' Learning Allowance £1,812 (ignored as this is a grant and there is a Maintenance Loan. This grant is not intended for the maintenance of someone else on the claim and it is not intended for housing costs)

Total regarded student income is £13,704

UC assessment period is 26th to 25th.

Course starts 23rd September.

First deduction is 26th August to 25th September.

Course ends 28th June.

No deduction 26th June to 25th July.

Last deduction is 26th May to 25th June.​

 

1. 26th September to 25th October

2. 26th October to 25th November

3. 26th November to 25th December

4. 26th December to 25th January

5. 26th January to 25th February

6. 26th February to 25th March

7. 26th March to 25th April

8. 26th April to 25th May

9. 26th May to 25th June

£13,704 divided by 9 assessment periods is £1522.67

£1522.67 - £110 is £1,412.67.

A reminder that we have a calculator that does the maths for you. You can access this calculator by clicking here.

Ellie will have £1,412.67 deducted per month from assessment period ending 25th October to 25th June.

There will be no deduction for assessment period ending 25th July onwards.

Example Tim

Tim has a maintenance loan and Special Support Element so all grants and bursaries are disregarded unless they are awarded for particular circumstances specified.

Maintenance Loan of £13,059 of which Special Support Element £4,014 (Amount of maintenance loan minus Special Support Element is regarded)

Parents' Learning Allowance £1,821 (ignored as this is a grant and there is a Maintenance Loan. This grant is not intended for the maintenance of someone else on the claim and it is not intended for housing costs)

NHS Learning Support Fund Training Grant £5000 (ignored as this is a grant and there is a Maintenance Loan. This grant is not intended for the maintenance of someone else on the claim and it is not intended for housing costs)

NHS Learning Support Fund Parental Support £2,000 (ignored as this is a grant and there is a Maintenance Loan. This grant is not intended for the maintenance of someone else on the claim and it is not intended for housing costs)

Childcare Allowance £6,341 (always ignored)

Total regarded student income is £13,059 - £4014 is £9,045.

UC assessment period is 13th to 12th.

Course starts 21st September.

First deduction is 13th September to 12th October.

Course ends 23rd July.

No deduction 13th July to 12th August.

Last deduction is 13th June to 12th July.​

1. 13th September to 12th October

2. 13th October to 12th November

3. 13th November to 12th December

4. 13th December to 12th January

5. 13th January to 12th February

6. 13th February to 12th March

7. 13th March to 12th April

8. 13th April to 12th May

9. 13th March to 12th June

10. 13th June to 12th July

£9,045 divided by 10 assessment periods is £904.50

£904.50 - £110 is £794.50

A reminder that we have a calculator that does the maths for you. You can access this calculator by clicking here.

Tim will have £905.88 deducted per month from assessment period ending 12th October to 12th May.

There will be no deduction for assessment period ending 12th June onwards.

Example Sam

Sam doesn't have a maintenance loan so all grants and bursaries are regarded unless they are awarded for particular circumstances specified in the list.

Basic Grant £3,362.50 (regarded as this is not specified as ignored)

Maintenance Grant £2,721 (regarded as this is not specified as ignored)

Adult Dependant Grant £3,094 (regarded as this is a grant for the maintenance of their partner who is on the UC claim)

Parent Leaning Allowance £1,573 (ignored as this is for for books and equipment (Initial fees expenses, etc.))

Placement Travel Allowance £862.50 (ignored as this is for travel expenses incurred for course attendance)

Childcare Allowance £7,917.24 (always ignored)

Total regarded student income is £3,362.50 + £2,721 + £3,094 = £9,177.50

UC assessment period is 17th to 16th.

Course starts 18th September.

First deduction is 17th September to 16th October.

Course ends 26th August.

No deduction 17th August to 16th September.

Last deduction is 17th July to 16th August.​

1. 17th August to 16th September

2. 17th September to 16th October

3. 17th October to 16th November

4. 17th November to 16th December

5. 17th December to 16th January

6. 17th January to 16th February

7. 17th February to 16th March

8. 17th March to 16th April

9. 17th April to 16th May

10. 17th May to 16th June

11. 17th June to 16th July

12. 17th July to 16th August

£9,177.50 divided by 12 assessment periods is £764.92

£764.79 - £110 is £654.79

A reminder that we have a calculator that does the maths for you. You can access this calculator by clicking here.

Sam will have £654.79 deducted per month from assessment period ending 16th September to 16th August.

There will be no deduction for assessment period ending 16th September onwards (if she is going back to studying, her new academic year deductions may start then as she has such a short break between years)

 
 

Postgraduate Loan

If you are studying Postgraduate and are eligible for Postgraduate Master's Loan or Postgraduate 

Doctoral Loan, the regarded amount of student income will be 30% of your loan. This is because it is assumed you will need to pay course fees from your loan.

If your course will be one year, your relevant number of assessment periods will be 12.

If your course will be two years, your relevant number of assessment periods will be 24.

If your course will be three years, your relevant number of assessment periods will be 36.

Now you have your regarded amount of student income and the relevant number of assessment periods, you can work out the deduction from your UC payment during the academic year.

Total regarded student income divided by number of assessment periods then deduct £110. This figure will be deducted per relevant assessment period, regardless of your student income payment schedule.

 

We have a calculator for you to help with the maths. You can access this calculator by clicking here but we have provided a real life examples with the working out for you.

Example Harry

Harry has a Postgraduate Master's Loan of £11,570 and is completing course in one year.

30% of £11,570 is £3,471

£3,471 divided by 12 is £289.25

£289.25 - £110 is £179.25

Harry will have £179.25 deducted per month for 12 months.