Student maintaining accomodation whilst studying

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    Wonder if anyone can advise me on this.

    I have a case where a claimant is in receipt of IB and is looking to start a full time university course some distance from our area.

    She wants to live in Halls for term time and return to this area during her vacation times as the halls are rented out by the Uni.

    I consider that she can continue to claim HB as she fulfils the condition of being unable to work for more than 28 weeks so all ok there.

    Only problem is now that she will be away for substantial periods at a time. I consider that we may be able to pay her under temporary abscence rules but am I right? She does not have to maintain 2 homes and would be receiving costs from her uni of £2700.00 which would go towards her accomodation costs when there.

    I consider that as we would have to use her loan as income, she would be worse off financially than if she surrendered her tenancy but not sure that I am correct in thinking that we can pay her anyway.

    Could anyone give me their opinion on this or point me towards any relevant caselaw or guidance?


    Well you probably could treat her under the temp absence rules if each term is less than 13 weeks and she is coming back in the vacations. You would have to make a decision that her normal home remains the one in your area. There is a rule that if a single student is maintaining two homes but is only liable for rent on one of them, we can treat the one they pay the rent on as the normal home, even if they are elsewhere for the majority of the time.

    The £2700 sounds like it’s a Higher Education Maintenance Grant (‘cos £2700 happens to be maximum amount for one). You need to be aware that the HEMG affects the amount of loan she can qualify for. In this case (assuming that it is a HEMG) it reduces the available loan by £1200. But the HEMG and reduced loan count as income.


    Agree with Andy that it is fair enough to treat the long term home (the one she had befor the course, will keep during the course and still have after the course finishes) as the normal home. As she will probably be liable to pay rent on both it and another home elsewhere, you are free to decide which one you consider to be the normal home – the special rule that Andy mentions for students who live with their parents in the holidays and rent during term time would not apply to her. So she can continue receiving HB on her home in your area.

    Just one small disagreement with Andy about temp absence – i think it’s 52 weeks if you are a student, so that should not cause her any problems if she comes back home in the holidays.


    Doh! Of course I meant to type 52 instead of 13!

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