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Students and Benefits

Image of benefits calculator on coffee table with coffee mug

The following information applies to undergraduates and postgraduates from the UK and other EU/EEA countries.  Students from other EU/EEA countries are usually eligible to claim Benefits & Tax Credits in the same way as Home UK students but it is recommended that you check the UKCISA website for information about any specific rules or restrictions that may apply under the link for ‘What if I am a national from the EEA or Switzerland?'

Students may be eligible to claim Social Security Benefits in the following circumstances -

  • Disability
  • Cannot work due to long term health problems
  • Single students caring for children
  • Student couples caring for children
  • Students with a spouse or partner
  • Waiting to return to university after an interruption to study
  • Students who are expecting a baby
  • Students who are state pensioners
  • Deaf students in receipt of a DSA


All students can apply for income assessed help with healthcare costs on a form HC1 from a GP, optician, dentist or the Student Support Centre. Prescriptions are now free in Wales.

Tax Credits:

Students with dependent children and a gross household income under £15,860 should qualify for maximum Child Tax Credit. There is no requirement to be working to claim Child Tax Credit.

Students are not excluded from claiming Working Tax Credit.  The main general eligibility conditions are as follows - 

  • You are single and care for a child & work 16 hours per week
  • You and your spouse or partner care for a child and either both of you work a combined 24 hours per week or one of you works 24 hours per week
  • You are aged 25 or over & work 30 hours per week
  • You have a disability which puts you at a disadvantage in getting work and you work 16 hours per week
  • You are aged 60 or over and work 16 hours per week

Your spouse or partner could make a claim on behalf of the family if any of the above applies to him/her.  For more information about the eligibility conditions including the exceptions and additional conditions to the above please refer to our FAQ below.


For information on benefits for students who are pregnant please refer to the FAQ below:

Pregnancy [131.1 Kb]