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Carers UK Forum • Open university, carers allowance and income support?
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Caring, studying part time and benefits

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 1:59 pm
by BigSister
Hiya all,

If a carer gets income support and carers allowance as they care full time would they be able to continue with this if they started studying part time towards an undergraduate degree?

I see that there's limited scholarships for unpaid carers that cover tuition fees however just wondering how carers fund living expenses. Does income support stop? Does carers allowance stop?

Does anyone have any experience of studying part time at the Open University whilst being a full time carer?

Thanks everyone :-)

Open university, carers allowance and income support?

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:11 pm
by BigSister
Hi, Just wanting a bit of advice about whether it's possible to study for a degree part time with the OU and still get carers allowance and income support. Anyone had any experience of this?

Re: Open university, carers allowance and income support?

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:39 pm
by bowlingbun
Possibly, because there is no set number of study hours.
Ring the Carers UK helpline.
I'd be interested in their answer.

Re: Open university, carers allowance and income support?

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:13 pm
by BigSister
Tried them already and was told to try here

Re: Caring, studying part time and benefits

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:16 pm
by bowlingbun
I studied part time for an Honours degree in Business Studies whilst caring for my brain damaged son (and mum was disabled too). I loved the escapism of doing something for me, rather than looking after everyone else. Sometimes I thought I deserved the degree just for getting to college by 9.30am!!!
Funding was different then.

Re: Open university, carers allowance and income support?

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:22 pm
by Melly1
Hi BIgSIster, There is info on this here: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guid ... r-benefits

I think you'd need a letter from the OU proving you were studying on a part time course. If I remember rightly from previous posters, its not just the hours that you are being 'taught' but also the number of hours you are expected to study that are counted.

Melly1

Re: Open university, carers allowance and income support?

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:35 pm
by BigSister
Learning something new would be a lovely change and it's always good to do something for yourself too.

I'm having a look at the OU who have a carers scholarship which gives free tuition fees if sucessful however I can't find anywhere what the implications of doing part time study are for the income support / carers allowance. Most of the courses seem to be 16-20 hours part time. I'm sure the OU used to do courses which were flexible and you could do as many hours as you liked over a long period of time.

Re: Open university, carers allowance and income support?

Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:15 pm
by Melly1
BigSister, did you check out the link I posted above? This discusses carers allowance, income support etc for part time students.

They still offer flexibility https://www.open.ac.uk/courses/what-is- ... ll-it-take

Why not contact the OU and have a chat them? https://www.open.ac.uk/contact

Melly1