University and caring - can someone please help me

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.

First of all I am 22 this year (a mature student) and I am attending a full time course at university. I am a carer and was receiving carers allowance and the carers premium. Since starting uni and informing the CA people of my new situation I have been told I am no longer entitled to CA and the premium. I asked what to do and was told that to reclaim CA I would have to drop out of uni (which I am not doing, since I did it once when I was 19). I then contacted the local jobcentre plus who told me to apply for jobseekers allowance. Upon attending the interview I was told I am not entitled due to being a full time uni student and therefore not "actively seeking full time employment". I told them that I only do 11 hours at uni per week and around 8 hours of private study at home, plus my caring role of over 35 hours a week. They told me to apply for income support because I "should" be entitled to some sort of income each week, besides my student loan (which is supposed to cover my uni costs, etc). I spoke with the IS people and they told me I am not entitled because I am a full time student and I dont get CA.

What am I supposed to do? I cant go out and find a job myself due to my uni + caring responsibilities and my student loan doesnt cover my yearly expenditure.

Can someone please give me some advice?

Thank you

HI Evilarty,

Welcome to forum.

CarersLine 0808 808 7777

CarersLine is Carers UK's free advice line for carers. It is open on Wednesday and Thursday each week between 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm. Telephone 0808 808 7777

Hopefully someone here will be able to help you.

Hi Sean,
I think your problem has developed in Higher Ed over many years. In my final year at one college, we started at 9.15am and finished at 7.00pm every a tuition week of about 34 hours per week.
Maybe the governement is now paying some of the old lecturing brigade in the unis for only the bare hours they do!! Some did not do a lot!! Now they have to do more hours to get their lolly.
So how does this affect you? Well, I think that the government has 'pruned' all courses of unecessary content so that you need only 11 hours tuition.
Now if you are not caring for your your dependent then frankly you do not deserve Carer's Allowance. However you say you are doing your 35 hours still so in my opinion you are entitled to the darned money some way or other. Personally I think you are being discriminated have your studies to do, you have lost your CA and you are still doing the care..that cannot be right!
Maybe you could get on to the NUS. maybe you could get onto the Local Authority. Perhaps they could provide some care (at a lot more cost than the CA would amount to!!)
Keep posting on here and maybe we will get there eventually.
Best wishes
Hi Sean, you are between a rock and a hard place I think. You have to choose between your education and better job prospects, and caring for someone you love. In the short trem at least if you think being a student has the highest priority. Then inform Social services that you are no longer able to care, and get a job to pay your way. They will then have to assume reponsibility for the care of your loved one.
The University may have a hardship fund for people in your situation. And faced with the costs of caring for your caree, Social services may be able to come up with a plan, whereby you can continue to care.
The other possible course is to change your course of study to another University like the Open University, where you can study at home and continue to care, assuming your present University does not have a similar scheme.
This may entail some disruption to your studies, and you will have to weigh up the pro's and cons carefully.
best wishes normangardner