Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th June 2019.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to no longer deduct student maintenance loans from universal credit payments to ensure claimants are not pushed into financial hardship while undertaking study.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Most full time students in education do not qualify for benefits or tax credits. Universal Credit is no different, as students can access fees and living costs to support their education courses through various loans and grants funded by the Department for Education. It is important that Universal Credit does not duplicate this support, which is designed for their needs unlike the social security system.

Treatment of student income under Universal Credit broadly mirrors that in Legacy Benefits which safeguards fairness whilst also ensuring simplification of the benefit system. An award of Universal Credit takes into account the elements of student loans or grants which provide for basic maintenance and disregards elements paid for specific additional costs, such as tuition or books. A flat rate monthly disregard of £110 is applied against the amount taken into account as student income

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