NHS Student Grant

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    We have a student who receives an adult nursing diploma made up of: –

    Basic Allowance – £5837.00
    Dependants All – £2887.00
    Mature Student – £ 682.00
    TOTAL £9406.00

    They are not eligible for a loan and therefore we have disregarded from the above the statutory £646 disregard in respect of books and travel.

    Unfortunately when the claim was first assessed 18 months ago the dependants allowance was disregarded – when identified the resulting overpayment was made non-recoverable.

    The claimant has now appealed because they did qualify for maximum HB and we are now expecting them to pay £53 a month. I am wanting to make sure, therefore, that we have assessed the grant income correctly.

    The claimant is stating that they have annual travel costs of £2060. Zebedee appears to say that amounts over the statuatory amount can be disregarded from other income. However HB Reg 57(1) seems to say that this is where the income amounts are intended for the expenditure. The claimants other income is tax credits and her husband receives carer’s allowance for their disabled child.

    Can we disregard the extra £1775 paid in respect of travel? Have we missed any other disregard from the grant?

    Please help!

    Kevin D

    Ok, I’ll bite…..

    [b:d366ec666a]HBR 59(2); HBR 63[/b:d366ec666a]; Zebedee/Ward/Lister [b:d366ec666a]21.51[/b:d366ec666a] (2006/7 guide).

    Zebedee is right – but it needs very careful reading to avoid making a mistake.

    Firstly, £285 (for travel) is allowed under [b:d366ec666a]HBR 59[/b:d366ec666a].

    Next, separately, [b:d366ec666a]HBR 63[/b:d366ec666a] needs to be considered.

    [b:d366ec666a]HBR 63[/b:d366ec666a] allows further amounts for travel to be disregarded, but only from income [b:d366ec666a]OTHER[/b:d366ec666a] than grant / loan income etc. Further, the disregard under HBR 63 can only apply to travel costs that are actual AND [u:d366ec666a][b:d366ec666a]necessary[/b:d366ec666a][/u:d366ec666a].

    This means that if the only income is by way of grant (and/or loan), only the “standard” disregard is allowed for travel (i.e. £285). HOWEVER, if the clmt has another source of income, say earnings, then further amounts for travel can be disregarded. Example below:

    Grant: £ X
    Earnings: £4000 per yr

    Travel costs: £2060
    Std disregard: £285 (from GRANT incm)

    difference: £1775 (must be [u:d366ec666a]necessary[/u:d366ec666a])

    Extra disregard (HBR 63): £1775 (from EARNINGS)

    In my opinion, the “extra” disregard cannot exceed the amount of the other income. So, if, in your case, the other income was £1000, that amount would be the maximum allowable disregard under HBR 63.

    Unless I’ve missed something, the wording of HBR 63 is such that “other” income can include Child Benefit & Tax Credits.

    Hope the above helps.

    Alistair A

    I have a similar case but our student is the partner and in those circumstances do you think you could offset his (the claimants) income against her additional expenses. Thanks.

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