Can You Get Housing Benefit When You Are A Student?

The aim of Housing Benefit is to provide financial support to individuals on low income so that they are able to afford their housing costs. We will explore whether students can claim Housing Benefit through this article and also learn about how being a full-time or part-time student affects your benefit claim. For a broader understanding of benefit claims for students, we will also discuss how an apprenticeship, a part-time job or a student loan affect your Housing Benefit claim. 

Can You Get Housing Benefit When You Are A Student?

Yes, you can claim Housing Benefit (or the housing element of Universal Credit) if you are a part-time student. Full-time students usually don’t qualify for Housing Benefit unless they meet any of the below-listed conditions:

  • You are claiming state benefits such as Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (Income Based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related).
  • You are younger than under 21 years, currently in further education but you got enrolled you were 19 years old
  • You are younger than 20 years of age and your parent claims Child Benefit
  • You are of pensionable age
  • You are a student couple who is responsible for a child
  • If you live with a partner who is not a student and claims Housing Benefit 
  • You are a  lone parent who is responsible for a child
  • You take care of foster children
  • You qualify for the disability premium/severe disability premium
  • You are incapable of work as per the DWP and have been for at least 28 weeks
  • You get the Disabled Student Grant with an allowance for deafness
  • You have not been able to claim a grant or student loan due to absence from studies because of illness or caring for someone else

If you study under an apprenticeship scheme, you should be able to fulfil the below-listed conditions so that your claim for Housing Beneift or the housing element of Universal Credit is not affected:

  • you have a named training provider 
  • you are working towards a recognised qualification or vocational training
  • you are entitled to the national minimum wage

Similarly, if you are a student at an open university, you can still continue to claim Housing Benefit.  If you are a student at an open university, you will be considered a part-time student. This will remain applicable even if you spend full-time study hours for your open university course. Therefore, any benefits that you or your parents claim will not be affected as a result of your status as an open university student.

However, if a student receives any of the following loans, their Housing Benefit payment will reduce:

  • Maintenance Loan
  • Post Graduate Loan
  • Professional And Career Development Loan

Additionally, If a student receives an NHS bursary or teacher training bursary, their benefits can also be affected as a result.

Can You Get Housing Benefit If You Study Under An Apprenticeship Scheme?

Yes, you can get Housing Benefit if you study under a recognised apprenticeship scheme. Even though apprenticeships count as full-time education, they are a combination of work and study and with a low-income level, your apprenticeship is not going to affect your claim for Housing Benefit; or any other benefit that you were previously claiming.

The earnings that apprentices are paid include payments for the regular working hours stated in their employment contract or apprenticeship agreement, any training that is essentially part of their apprenticeship and lasts a minimum of 20% of their regular working hours, as well as additional study time for English and Mathematics qualifications (if they are part of the work that you will perform during the apprenticeship).

These payments are usually equal to the national minimum wage rate and therefore bear little to no impact on one’s claim for benefits.

Can You Get Housing Benefit If You Have A Student Loan?

Yes, a student loan will affect your claim for Housing Benefits as it will be counted as income with which you will support some of your expenses; even though you will be returning this amount later in life.

Student loans and student grants are taken into account when your income and savings are assessed during a means test for a benefit claim.

However, the full amount of your loan will not count as income during your means test; the amount that you pay towards the tuition fee for your course will be deducted and the remaining will be considered as income. This means that even though your Housing Benefit payment may be lesser than what you expected; there is a slim chance of your losing it altogether due to a student loan.

The same applies to the case of special support grants, parent learning allowances and childcare payments. Although they may be classified as incomes, they are generally ignored for a benefits claim application.

Can You Get Housing Benefit If You Are A Student Working Part-Time?

Yes, you can claim or continue to claim your Housing Benefit payments if you are a student who also works part-time. However, the income you earn from your part-time job will be taken into account for a means test when your claim is being assessed by the DWP.

If you have not been working before and intend to start a part-time job while studying and claiming Housing Benefit, you should report this change of circumstances to the DWP so that you are not at risk of being guilty of benefit fraud.

The DWP will take into account changes in your income as well as the previous circumstance under which you qualified for the benefit. On the basis of this, there are chances that your Housing Benefit payment will slightly reduce as a result of your part job and the income derived from it.


With the variation in the types of student programs and the individual circumstances (personal and financial) that a student is attached to, there is no one rule to apply when answering the question of whether or not a student can claim Housing Benefit. However, based on the above discussion, we conclude that part-time students with no jobs will generally find it easier to claim Housing Benefit than full-time ones. Meanwhile, students enrolled in an apprenticeship scheme or those working part-time may face a reduction in their benefit claims as their earnings (even though limited) will count as income.

FAQs: Can you get Housing Benefit when you are a student?

Can I claim benefits as a full-time student?

Generally speaking, you may not be able to claim benefits as a full-time student. However, if you qualify for Income-Related Employment And Support Allowance while studying full-time, you will be able to claim the benefit. Individuals who receive Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment will not have their benefits affected if they are full-time students.

Can students claim Housing Benefit during the summer?

If you qualify for Housing Benefit as a student, you will continue receiving the payment during the summer as well; unless you do not intend to live in the UK during this time.

Can I claim benefits if I am a part-time student?

Yes, you can claim benefits if you are a part-time student as long as there is no change to any other circumstances in your life that can affect your eligibility criteria. However part-time students are unable to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support.

Can full-time students claim benefits?

Most of the time, full-time students cannot claim benefits; unless they are disabled, a lone or foster parent or they have a partner who is also a student and both of them take care of a child.

Is an apprenticeship considered full-time education for Universal Credit?

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, if an apprentice can provide a named training provider, they are working towards a recognised qualification or vocational training and are entitled to the national minimum wage, they can claim Universal Credit.


Check if you can get Housing Benefit – Citizens Advice.

Can full-time students get Housing Benefit? – Turn2us

Can students claim benefits to help with rent? – Shelter England

Which students can claim Housing Benefit and council tax support? | Help students

Claiming Housing Benefit if you’re a student

Students and Housing Benefit