Hello and welcome to the December 2020 edition of CPAG in Scotland's students and benefits ebulletin, keeping you up-to-date with changes to benefits and tax credits which are relevant to students.
In this issue:
- NEW Benefits for care-experienced students factsheet
- Other students and benefits factsheets updated
- Students and benefits online training courses
- Disabled students and universal credit - Welfare Rights Bulletin article
- Scottish child payment
A new factsheet explaining the rules for care-experienced students claiming benefits has now been produced by CPAG in Scotland. This is a confusing area that we get lots of enquiries about.
You can read and download this factsheet at Benefits for care experienced students | CPAG
There are also four updated students and benefits factsheets (dated October 2020) on the CPAG in Scotland website at Students and benefits project Scotland | CPAG. This includes updated factsheets on benefits for disabled students, and young people in further education or training. Please feel free to download and distribute these factsheets as required.
We are delivering an online training course via zoom on benefits for students in February 2021:
Students and benefits - eligibility on 24 and 25 February (two half-days)
This is a standard level course and aims to give you a thorough knowledge of which students can claim universal credit and other benefits. The course also explains how student funding interacts with universal credit and other means-tested benefits. Information on who counts as a full-time student will also be part of the course.
Remember that we can also deliver online training via zoom for you and your colleagues ‘in-house’ for up to 12 staff members from your organisation/partner organisations. This includes the course above, and the following students and benefits courses:
- Students and benefits - the basics (half-day course)
As the name suggests this is a basic level course, and is a brief overview of which students may be eligible for which benefits. No prior benefit knowledge is necessary.
- Introduction to benefits for student advisers (one day equivalent, delivered over 2 mornings)
Again this is at an introductory/basic level, and explains a bit about the different benefits available and which students may be able to get them It also explains in brief what student funding is available and looks briefly at how student funding might affect benefits.
- Universal credit and students
With the introduction of universal credit, the benefit rules for students as we know them are swept away and new rules set up in their place. This standard level course explains which students can claim universal credit and how student funding affects the amount they get. It also covers particular problems to do with claiming universal credit and what to do about them.
- Students and benefits – an update
Make sure you know how recent benefit changes are likely to affect students during the coronavirus outbreak. This experienced level course is for advisers with a good working knowledge of the benefits and tax credits systems as they apply to students, and mainly updates advisers on changes, rather than on existing rules.
In the last student ebulletin there was information about new regulations affecting eligibility to universal credit for disabled students. We have just produced a longer article describing these changes, published in our December 2020 Welfare Rights Bulletin. You can read this article here.
The Scottish child payment is a new Scottish benefit which pays £10 per week per eligible child. This is additional money on top of child benefit or other benefits someone may claim for their child/ren, and does not affect other benefits.
Initially it is introduced only for children under six, but is due to be extended to under 16s by the end of 2022.
Claims can be made now, with the first payments by end February/early March 2021. Although claims can be made in advance (essentially to manage demand), eligibility can only start from 15 February 2021. To be eligible you must have responsibility for a child who is under six on 15 February 2021.
You are eligible if you:
- are responsible for a child/ren under six – eg, you get child benefit for them, or they are named on your CTC, UC or pension credit award, or you are a kinship carer for them; and
- you get UC, CTC, WTC, income support, income-based JSA, income-related ESA or pension credit; and
- you normally live in Scotland
See Scottish child payment | CPAG for more detail on the Scottish child payment.
Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.