Important message for anyone eligible for (or potentially eligible for) DWP Benefits

Most students are not eligible to claim DWP (Department for Work and Pension) Benefits, however there are groups of students who may have additional needs or responsibilities who are entitled to additional help from the government. You may already be receiving certain Benefits such as Disability Living Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit or Tax Credits. In some cases, you may be receiving a combination of some or even all of the aforementioned.

Some students, particularly lone parents, may be considering making an application for Jobseekers Allowance or requesting a change to their existing benefit entitlement during the long summer vacation which is rapidly approaching. We need to make you aware that the new DWP benefit system called Universal Credit now covers much of Sussex, Surrey and some London boroughs and as such any change in your existing benefit arrangement will trigger a reassessment, bringing you under the new rules.  Our message to you is – please seek advice before you initiate any changes to your benefits as it is likely this will have a negative impact on your entitlement.

Unfortunately these changes are inevitable as the new scheme is further rolled out, but the Student Advisers are here to help you with this, so please contact us for more information. The government has recently published information specifically targeting students about Universal Credit, which you can access here. You cannot defer being migrated over to the new system or ‘opt out’, but you can be informed enough to understand the implications of what this may mean for you and your household . Anyone claiming one of the qualifying benefits for the first time will be claiming Universal Credit if the area you live in is a full digital service. Click here to find out if where you live is fully digital.

The scheme is new to us all and we too are learning as we go along. Assessments and eligibility are complex and complicated and we may not know all of the answers immediately, but we will help you as best we can.

We are also looking for students with experience of the Universal Credit reassessment process to share their stories and some of the challenges and barriers they may have faced and hopefully overcome. This will help us help others so please get in touch with us. You can have a chat with any of the Advisers at your campus. Our full contact details can be found here

We are open throughout the long summer vacation.

Student Advice Service

Helen is the Student Advice Service Manager within Student Services and is based in Tithe Barn on the Moulsecoomb campus

Posted in Money Advice

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