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TOPIC: Postgraduate degree loan ESA and PIP?

Postgraduate degree loan ESA and PIP? 4 weeks 2 days ago #236373

First some critical information:

- I live in England and will be studying in England, currently I have been approved by Student Finance England a Postgraduate Master’s Loan to start my Msc Course from 1st of October 2019. Currently not even this entire loan will cover my university fees and living costs, once I get this loan it brings me into a minus balance so it does nothing really other than get 'current' negative balance down on my bank account, however with the following benefits I am currently getting as a undergraduate student over 25 years of age, I am currently claiming the following successfully:

- ESA - contribution based in the support group.
- PIP - Awarded kinda indefinitely, Daily Living Component only at I believe the lowest rate.


Overall I have read in bits here and there buts its still not 100% clear DWP will cut my benefits by as much as 30% as my post grad loan counts now as 30% of my income? I am scared to call them incase they stop them completely. There have been no issues with them whilst I have been an undergrad but I seem to be getting some warnings from SFE that I need to let them know my change of circumstances again even though in my opinion I am still a student, and compared to an undergrad loan this is about 50% lesser what I am getting, so for DWP to cut me even more makes no sense 'ethically' speaking, if they were to do so say by 30% thats 80% cut of my total income compared to when I was undergrad. I literally then will not be able to afford basic needs like food and such.

Overall my question if anything, is do I need to let the DWP know of my change in circumstances regarding the Postgraduate loan? Or can I just carry on as normal being a student, additionally if I do let them know will they take as much money off me as I have speculated.

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Postgraduate degree loan ESA and PIP? 4 weeks 2 days ago #236385

Hi John Henry

In general you can get contributory ESA during vacations and term time and it is not paid at a reduced rate because of any grant or loan you get.

You may be eligible for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), DSA's are not means tested for more information click on the following link: www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas .

You need to let DWP know of a change of circumstances ASAP if you do not then you could be hit with a penalty fine.

Gary

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Postgraduate degree loan ESA and PIP? 3 weeks 4 days ago #236521

In this instance I am only changing from a graduate student to a post graduate student. Therefore would that still be a change is more what I am getting at? The slight differences in financing and wording has me confused as to whether its a change in its entirety?

"You need to let DWP know of a change of circumstances ASAP if you do not then you could be hit with a penalty fine."

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Postgraduate degree loan ESA and PIP? 3 weeks 4 days ago #236544

Hi John Henry

We always advise anyone to inform DWP of any changes in circumstances if only slight, once it is on record then you are covered if anything was to materialise years later. We are starting to see recovery of overpayments from many years ago as systems from different departments start to talk to each other. Under legacy benefits you could always try and argue official error but you cannot do this under UC.

If you are worried about anything in regards to your grant or funding then contact NUS who may be able to help: www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/

Gary

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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