Housing Benefit for students

Whether you can get housing benefit as a student mainly depends on if you study full time or part time.

Most full-time students are not entitled to housing benefit, however there are some exceptions.

Part-time students can usually claim.

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Can I claim housing benefit?

If you are a student, you can claim housing benefit to help pay your rent if :

  • you are on a part time course, or
  • you are over pension age.

If your partner lives with you and isn’t a student, you can claim housing benefit as a couple. Your income, for example your student grant or loan, will however be taken into account, and may reduce the amount of benefit that your partner is entitled to.

International students studying in the UK can’t claim housing benefit.

I am a full time student

If you are a full time student, you may still be able to claim housing benefit if you:

  • are disabled
  • are responsible for children
  • are a lone foster carer
  • are under 21 and not in higher education (for example, studying A-levels at college)
  • are under 20 and someone is getting Child Benefit for you
  • are getting Income Support, income-related Employment & Support Allowance or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • are receiving a state pension
  • leave your course temporarily because of illness or caring responsibilities
  • live in supported accommodation and receive universal credit.

If you are unsure about whether you’re a full-time student, speak to someone at your college or university.

What should I do if I think I can claim housing benefit?

If you think you may be able to claim housing benefit make a claim as soon as you can.

Don’t stop paying your rent until you have received confirmation that you will be entitled to benefit, and how much you will get. It can take a long time for a claim to be processed. If you stop paying your rent and later find out that you are not entitled to benefit, or you are entitled to less than you thought, you could end up with serious rent arrears.

For more information about waiting for your housing benefit to be processed, click here.

Where can I get more information?

The rules about students and benefits are complicated, so if you are not sure whether you’re entitled to help with your rent it’s always best to get advice. You can get help from Shelter Cymru, Citizens Advice or speak to your student union.

Check Entitledto to see what you can claim and contact your local Citizen’s Advice for more detailed information.

For lots more housing advice and tips for students then visit our young person’s portal student page.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: May 12, 2023

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.