Financial support for postgraduate students with dependents

students taking part in a seminar

If you have children or a dependant adult that you need to support during your postgraduate degree, in some circumstances you may be able to get some financial help while you study.

Child Tax Credits

You may be able to claim Child Tax Credit if you’re responsible for at least 1 child aged under 16, or aged 16–20 if they're in eligible education or training.

Becoming a full-time student shouldn’t affect your entitlement to Child Tax Credit. This is because HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) doesn’t include any student funding when they work out your eligibility for child tax credit – apart from the Adults Dependants’ Grant.

However, it’s best to contact HMRC to tell them you’re becoming a student.

Child Benefit

You can get Child Benefit if you're responsible for 1 or more children aged under 16, or aged 16-20 if they're in eligible education or training. You can still receive Child Benefit when you become a student.

Housing Benefit

You can get Housing Benefit as a student if at least 1 of the following applies to you:

  • you're a lone parent
  • you're living as a couple with another student and you have at least 1 child
  • you're getting Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance
  • you're getting Disabled Students' Allowance because of a hearing impairment

To get Housing Benefit, you must be living in rented accommodation. Private rental properties and our halls of residence are eligible. And you must have a formal tenancy agreement in your name.

Applying for Housing Benefit

You need to apply for housing benefit through your local council. If you live in Portsmouth, you should contact Portsmouth City Council.

Your local council will include your maintenance loan when it assesses your income, so you may only qualify for Housing Benefit over the summer when you’re not studying.

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