Students and benefits e-bulletin September 2019 | CPAG

Students and benefits e-bulletin September 2019

Date: 
24 September 2019

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of CPAG in Scotland's students and benefits e-bulletin, keeping you up-to-date with changes to benefits and tax credits which are relevant to students.

IN THIS ISSUE

Student handbook NEW EDITION

Students and benefits training courses + other opportunities

Universal credit Q&A

Funeral support payments

Student handbook NEW EDITION

Benefits for Students in Scotland handbook

The Benefits for Students in Scotland Handbook for 2019/20 (17th edition) is now published! The handbook is fully updated for the new academic year, with all the relevant benefit changes and student support rates. Order it now here

The online version of the Benefits for Students in Scotland handbook 2019/20 is available free at www.onlinepublications.cpag.org.uk (use the + key at the left of the page to navigate to the different chapters).

Students and benefits training courses

There are two training courses on benefits for students in the next few months, both of which will be held in Glasgow:

This course is aimed at experienced advisers, to provide an essential annual update on benefit changes affecting students, particularly in light of the rollout of universal credit.

This course is for new advisers who want a general overview of which students can claim which benefits, covering universal credit and also the older benefits.

Other training and event opportunities that may be of interest:

Many young people who have been ‘looked after’ by the local authority are excluded from income-related benefits. Instead the local authority is responsible for supporting them. This half-day course looks at the special benefit rules for care-experienced young people.

This year the DWP begins switching people to universal credit through ‘managed migration’. Starting with a small scale pilot, the DWP aims to achieve an efficient process that will work for the millions of people yet to transfer. Meanwhile, ‘natural migration’ to universal credit remains possible, and rules and arrangements for claiming universal credit, particularly for severely disabled people, are far from simple. This seminar brings advisers together to discuss the latest developments and legal challenges.

This seminar will look at:

  • Natural migration and severe disability – ‘SDP Gateway’, transitional SDP payment, legal challenges
  • Managed migration – rules, DWP plans in practice, key concerns
  • What is happening in practice and opportunities to influence policy makers

This seminar is led by CPAG advisers with a track record of delivering specialist advice and training on universal credit law and practice.

Universal credit Q&A

Q: A student adviser reports that lone parent students have had their universal credit suspended until they can provide written confirmation of their student funding award. As lone parents these students should be entitled to remain on universal credit. They are likely to be awarded a £28 bursary but this has not yet been processed. What should they do?

A: Yes, a lone parent student is still eligible for universal credit. But when someone notifies universal credit that they are starting a course there is other information universal credit need. The law allows them to suspend a claim while they wait for information. One of the key things they need to know is what student funding someone can get - this affects whether the person counts as a student for universal credit purposes, whether they have to look for work while on the course, and how much universal credit they can get. It may be possible to provide students with a generic letter about their likely eligibility for a £28 bursary. If accepted, this will hopefully allow universal credit to stop the suspension of their award. The student should also provide the bursary award letter when they get this.

Funeral support payments

Support with funeral payments has now transferred from the UK social fund, to Social Security Scotland. Funeral support payments can be claimed by someone on a qualifying benefit (eg, child tax credit, universal credit, housing benefit), to help with funeral costs where they are the nearest relative to the person who has died. Claims can be made from the date the person dies to six months after the funeral.

Students are eligible if they get a qualifying benefit.

See https://www.mygov.scot/funeral-support-payment/overview/ and https://cpag.org.uk/scotland/welfare-rights/scottish-benefits/funeral-support-payment for more information.