Q. I have been thinking about going back to full-time education, but I am worried about claiming student finance and not being able to support myself financially.
I am getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for personal care and I get Employment and Support Allowance. Is there anything extra I can claim?
A. If you are already receiving Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance then these should continue throughout your studies.
Contributions Based Employment and Support Allowance can be paid as a student based on your National Insurance Contributions and this would be unaffected by any student finance you were entitled to.
If the ESA claim is Income Related then it can only continue when either Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment is also in payment.
Income Related ESA claims are affected by student finances such as loans and grants, but there are some student finances that are disregarded.
Q. My husband passed away 3 years ago and I have been receiving Widowed Parents Allowance since then.
I’ve been reading about changes to bereavement benefits and I’ve read that things are now limited to one year of payments.
Does that mean that my payments will stop in a year?
A. As your husband died before the changes to the bereavement benefits your claim won’t be affected.
You will continue to be entitled to Widowed Parents Allowance as long as you receiver Child Benefit for a child of your late husband.
Also if you were to remarry, form a civil partnership or bring living with a partner as a couple then your payments would end.
Q. I was just wondering about my Personal Independence Payment claim.
I was swapped from Disability Living Allowance onto Personal Independence Payment last month and I scored a total of 16 points, but I only get payments for Daily Living and not mobility, should I be getting both?
A. It sounds as though you scored less than 8 points on the Mobility part of the assessment and the rest of the points were for Daily Living. You need to score at least 8 points to be awarded Payment at the standard rate for each component and if you are scored 12 points or more for either component then you would be paid the enhanced rate.
If you are receiving £83.10 then that is enhanced rate daily living and you may only have scored 4 points on the mobility section.
You should have been given a points breakdown on your award letter.
You have up to a month to challenge the decision if you don’t agree with it, or you can submit a late challenge if there is a good reason for the delay.