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Can Students Get Housing Benefit
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Can Students Get Housing Benefit

Written by Sam | June 1, 2020

If you already have a claim for Housing Benefit, it is possible you might be able to continue claiming it while you study. Otherwise, any help with housing costs will be paid through Universal Credit.

Most full-time students cannot claim Universal Credit, but there are some exceptions. Universal Credit will treat you as a student if:

  •   You are on a full-time course that will lead to a
    • Degree
    • Postgraduate degree
    • Higher national diploma
  • You are on a course that gives you a loan or grant for maintenance
  • You are doing a course that allows someone to claim child benefit for you

You carry on being counted as a student during the holidays.

Housing Benefit

As a full-time student who is already getting housing benefit, you can continue to get housing benefit as a student if you meet one of the following conditions, if you fall into one of the categories below, you can make a new claim for housing benefit:

  • You receive Income Support (IS) or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • You are a lone parent or a member of a couple who is responsible for a child and you are both full-time students 
  • You are a lone foster carer with a child formally placed with you by a local authority or voluntary agency
  • You receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance, the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit or a War Pensioner’s Disability Supplement
  • You or your partner are registered blind
  • You have been unable to work due to sickness or disability for at least 28 weeks
  • You qualify for a Disabled Student’s Allowance because you are deaf
  • You take time out from your course because of illness or caring responsibilities in certain circumstances (see Time out from study within this guide)
  • You are under 21 on a non-advanced course – age can sometimes be extended to 22
  • You are over Pension Credit age and neither you nor your partner is getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). If you qualify for guaranteed Pension Credit, you will receive maximum entitlement to Housing Benefit.

If you are under Pension Credit age and receive student support, in the form of a grant or loan, this will usually reduce the amount of Housing Benefit you can get. Unless you also get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), in which case you will automatically receive your maximum entitlement to Housing Benefit.


As a student, you can claim housing benefit but only if you meet certain criteria, it is likely that you will be able to claim universal credit under circumstances.

You are most likely to carry on getting housing benefits if you were receiving it before and/or you meet any of the criteria to put in a new claim. However, as you will be receiving a grant or maintenance loan a lot of new students aren’t accepted.

International students cannot claim housing benefit.

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