Can students claim housing benefit?

Whether you can claim housing benefit as a student depends mainly on if you study full time or part time.

Who can claim?

You won't be able to claim housing benefit if you're a full-time student, unless you fall into one of the groups below. Most part-time students can claim.

International students studying in the UK can't claim housing benefit.

How housing benefit for students is calculated

Income including your student loan and any other earnings is taken into account when calculating how much housing benefit you are entitled to.

Full-time students who can claim

If you're a full-time student, you may be able to claim housing benefit if you:

  • are under 21 and not in higher education (for example, studying A levels at college)
  • receive income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, or income-related employment and support allowance
  • live in supported accommodation and get universal credit
  • have dependent children who live with you, or your partner if they are also a full-time student
  • are a lone foster carer
  • have a disability and qualify for a disability premium or severe disability premium
  • get a disabled student's allowance because you are deaf
  • or your partner has reached state pension age

Check who counts as a full-time student for benefits purposes with Turn2Us

Types of accommodation you can claim for

Full-time students who can claim housing benefit can get help towards all types of rented accommodation, including halls of residence and student flats.

Find out more about privately renting student accommodation and halls of residence.

Part-time students

You can usually claim housing benefit if you're a part-time student and you rent your home.

But if you're studying part time and stay in university-owned housing or halls of residence, you can only claim housing benefit if you fall into certain categories.

Examples include if you:

  • have dependent children
  • are disabled
  • receive income-related benefits
  • have reached state pension age

Last updated 09 Aug 2018 | © Shelter

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