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Part time students and benefits - Who is a part time student for benefit purposes?

Find out more about the definition of a part-time student for benefit purposes and whether you can claim any benefits or tax credits

Who is a part time student for benefit purposes?

For Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support, whether you are a part-time student depends on your age and the level of the course.

You are a part-time student if you are studying but you:
•    Are not in relevant education and
•    Are not attending a full-time course.

If you started a full-time course and reduced your hours of attendance, you might still be treated as a full-time student rather than a part-time one.

You count as a student from the first day until the last day of the course or if you do not complete the course, until the day you are dismissed from or abandon it. This means that you count as a student even during holidays and when taking time out from studying, unless certain circumstances apply (see Time out from study within this guide).

You can still be entitled to most benefits while you are doing a part-time course.

The benefits which may be affected by being a part-time student are:
•    Jobseeker's Allowance
     Income Support
•    Carer's Allowance
•    Incapacity Benefit
•    Employment and Support Allowance
•    Disability Living Allowance
•    Personal Independence Payment and
•    Attendance Allowance.
     Universal Credit
     Housing Benefit

Students with Partners

If you are a part-time student and you live with a partner who is not a student, either of you may be able to claim means-tested benefits for you both. Some of your student support may be taken into account.

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