Leaving benefits for college

Hi everyone, I have been wanting to do a course in acupuncture for many years, but due to my health I kept putting it off. I have Lupus, Sjogrens, Fibromyalgia and some organ damage.

I went for an interview at the college and was accepted. I am obviously a little nervous about going off benefits and starting a 3 year course. The course attendance is only every other weekend and the rest of the work is from home, otherwise I wouldn't have even applied.

I am so tired with the benefit system and the never knowing if your going to pass or fail. I do get DLA and ESA. Does anyone know if I will be able to get any other help apart from maintenance loans? I am hoping I may at least be able to get DLA. I was awarded that indefinitely. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Love to all

Jacqueline xx

4 Replies

  • Well done for you for continuing with your aims and goals, something I'm sure you'll be glad of in the long term. I'm no expert but would imagine you could keep DLA as I was awarded mine when I was in f/t employment. As for ESA I would get some advice from the DWP in advance. Do you live in Wales by any chance? If so there is an ALG (Assembly Learning Grant) worth applying for.

    Also, the college's often have access to bursaries and/or hardship funds which can be allocated according to need, and like anything else a pretty good application form. I'm going back many years now but when I was studying I was able to get relief for council tax and housing benefit, maybe worth a bit of an explore. Perhaps the college has a financial advisor you could speak to who should tell you all you are entitled to.

    Take care, and good on you.

  • Thanks for the reply Slowmo. I live in England. I will do some research and ask at the college. I might also have a word with CAB.

    I know that when I qualify at least I can work the hours I want and won't have to worry about benefits anymore which will be great. I am also a qualified Reflexologist but haven't done anything with it yet.

    It will be great if I can at least keep the DLA benefit and hopefully get some help with rent/council tax.

    Thanks for your encouragement. All the best to you.

  • Hi Jacquieline

    Good for you for wanting to do this acupuncture course! Hope you make it. The best thing you can do is ask your local CAB as they'll tell you everything about the benefits and what you can claim. Your DLA should be safe as that's awarded for your health condition. You'll have to re-apply next year as it's changing to PIP. Good LuckX

  • Hi Jacqueline, DLA is paid to people who are both in work and those who are claiming other benefits. DLA is a non taxable benefit. ESA, is a taxable benefit, so I would double check with Jobcentre, if you would have to give the benefit up. As I know, that people claiming Jobseekers, who want to do a course, as long as that course is parttime, they can continue to claim the benefit, so it maybe the same with ESA.

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