Universal Credit for disabled students: get advice at our Facebook Live Q&A

3 mins read

Monday 5 December 2022

Tags: facebook q&a, universal credit for students, facebook live

There are certain rules that prevent most young people in education from claiming Universal Credit in their own right. Some can still qualify depending on their individual circumstances, but it’s not always a straightforward process.

Our website is full of advice about this, but we know it’s a complex issue to grapple with as the rules can be confusing.

That’s why we are offering parents a chance to ask questions directly to our family finance adviser Derek during a Facebook Live this Thursday (8 December) at 10am!

To take part, visit our Facebook Live event page and confirm your attendance. Then, visit the event page at 10am on Thursday to watch the livestream and ask questions directly to Derek in real time.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry. The session will still be available to watch in the event page on Facebook after it’s finished, and it will also be uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Rules for claiming Universal Credit as a disabled student

Most disabled students will only be able to claim Universal Credit if they have already established that they have a limited capability for work by undergoing a DWP work capability assessment *before* starting their course. It is no longer possible for them to qualify by establishing a limited capability for work *during* their course.

As a result, Contact recommends that disabled teenagers undergo a work capability assessment when they turn 16 to try to establish a limited capability for work early on. Doing this can increase their chances of being able to claim Universal Credit at a later date if they either: move from their existing course to a new course; or stay on in non-advanced education beyond the August after their 19th birthday.

But here’s the catch: if you simply ask the DWP to carry out a work capability assessment, they are likely to refuse. The only way to make sure an assessment takes place is by making a ‘credits-only’ claim for new-style ESA. Your child won’t qualify for the ESA payment itself, but the DWP will have to carry out a work capability assessment as part of the claims process.

Some parents describe being talked out of making a credits-only claim for new-style ESA by staff at the DWP. Others are incorrectly told that making this claim will affect any benefits the parent currently gets for their son or daughter as a dependent child.

If you have experienced any of these issues, or if you have questions about the rules themselves, make sure to join our Q&A on Thursday.

Benefits and education at 16

In the meantime, learn more about Universal Credit for disabled young people and the changes to benefits when your child turns 16 on our website.

You can also get advice about education and SEN support for children beyond 16.