Waiting for viva and JSA?

posted
01-May-19, 23:18
Avatar for hekamede
posted about 2 months ago
I've just submitted my PhD and struggling to work out what benefits I am eligible for while looking for a job/waiting for my viva/doing future corrections etc - as I am technically still a full time student, would that rule me out for JSA? Or does it not matter as long as I am not actually spending any hours studying?

Also am I still eligible for student council tax reduction as I am still technically a student, or is it not possible to get that as well as JSA?

Basically just very confused what my official status is (seemingly a student and not a student at the same time) and there isn't much information out there, so if anyone has any idea I would really appreciate hearing it!!
posted
02-May-19, 13:12
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
I should think you'd be entitled to JSA and any housing benefit help available for those seeking work and able to demonstrate that they are seeking work. I'd ring your local JSA or the national number to find out for sure.
posted
04-May-19, 08:15
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Bottlebag
posted about 2 months ago
Be aware JSA may not exist in your area.. It's Universal Credit. I would advise to speak to your student office, citizens advice. With council tax reduction you would be exempt from council tax if you live alone. It depends on the council as they have an 'allowance' and if your council tax is above that you'll have to pay the shortfall.

You may be entitled to Income Support, however this too (like JSA is a legacy benefit, so it falls into the 'wonderful' category of Universal Credit.

If you were to receive JSA/UC either way you wouldn't have to pay council tax. And as a student you are exempt. The rules are not clear online and seem to miss out students.

Hope this helps
posted
04-May-19, 17:03
edited a moment later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Can people who live alone really be exempt from CT? I thought it was just a reduction? Also, had no idea it could vary location to location. Interesting stuff!
posted
05-May-19, 02:37
edited about 29 seconds later
Avatar for Bottlebag
posted about 2 months ago
Yes, if you live alone you get 100% reduction, if there are two it's 50% reduction. Each council has an allowance so a small shortfall may be incurred. If you look on the back of your council tax bill it has the information on the back with all the different codes....the council may not tell you if you're entitled to a reduction so it's better to be fully aware of what you're entitled to. If you have been paying for council tax and you shouldn't have, I'd seek a refund (or similar)..hope this information helps.
posted
05-May-19, 02:40
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Bottlebag
posted about 2 months ago
Just thought I'd add, it's 25% discount for people who live on their own (non students)..but 100% discount for students (if they live on their own). If two people live together (one student and one non student) then a 50% reduction is applied.
posted
05-May-19, 04:03
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Bottlebag:
Just thought I'd add, it's 25% discount for people who live on their own (non students)..but 100% discount for students (if they live on their own). If two people live together (one student and one non student) then a 50% reduction is applied.


I'm not sure this is correct.
I think it's 25% in both cases.
Pretty sure that's what I was getting. Almost certain it wasn't 50%.
Are you absolutely certain about this?
Also there is an income and savings threshold below which you are completely exempt.
posted
06-May-19, 01:35
edited about 5 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 2 months ago
I can't advise on council tax though you should receive some reduction either as a full time student or Universal Credit claimant. You won't get JSA as a new claimant now.

You won't receive benefits if you are registered as a full time student. Exceptions may include attendance allowance or personal independance payments if disabled. If you're a full time carer, you can receive carer's allowance provided you are not earning roughly £125 a week and looking after someone on either attendance allowance or personal independance payments.

You can receive universal credit if you are registered as a part-time student studying <=12 hours a week. You also need to be actively looking for work to the satisfaction of Job Centre Plus advisors and Case Workers.

You might look to changing your registration to part-time in order to entitle yourself to universal credit. One point here are that your PhD supervisors might object in their interests in seeing you submit by the end of year four.

Another option is given you're in year four and can show Job Centre Plus you've no income on your bank statements, is to not tell Job Centre Plus you are still registered a full-time student. It's a little dodgy this but as the University cannot give out confidential information on its students unless presented with a court order, there's not a mechanism for Job Centre Plus to find out. A court order may only be sought if there is clear evidence of wrong doing and as you've no income there will be no evidence. Many year four students have done this historically I hate to say (ahem).

A part-time job alongside your year four writing up is probably the best approach. Either that or hope your department 'invent' an RA post to finance your writing up period, this being obviously common from the RA adverts you see.

As you can gather, I received lots of advice on this issue way back when I was writing up.

Ian
posted
07-May-19, 05:57
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Mackem_Beefy:

Another option is given you're in year four and can show Job Centre Plus you've no income on your bank statements, is to not tell Job Centre Plus you are still registered a full-time student. It's a little dodgy this but as the University cannot give out confidential information on its students unless presented with a court order, there's not a mechanism for Job Centre Plus to find out. A court order may only be sought if there is clear evidence of wrong doing and as you've no income there will be no evidence. Many year four students have done this historically I hate to say (ahem).


I know you mean well but what you are suggesting here is benefits fraud and will lead to a criminal conviction and/or a prison sentence and probably the end of your career if you are caught. Don't assume it's easy to get away with this. Universal Credits and JSA before it are specifically for people actively seeking work. A full time student is not considered to be in a position to actively seek work and are therefore not allowed to claim either. That is the law whether we like it or not. Break that law at your peril.
posted
07-May-19, 10:10
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
This scares me as I am currently exempt from CT as still registered as a FT student yet have started an RA job as I finish off my thesis. Think I'd best declare that I am working though still registered as FT student. I hate CT. Especially when living in an area where the council do next to jack to maintain the area - massive potholes etc. :/
posted
07-May-19, 10:21
edited about 54 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From pm133:


I know you mean well but what you are suggesting here is benefits fraud and will lead to a criminal conviction and/or a prison sentence and probably the end of your career if you are caught. Don't assume it's easy to get away with this. Universal Credits and JSA before it are specifically for people actively seeking work. A full time student is not considered to be in a position to actively seek work and are therefore not allowed to claim either. That is the law whether we like it or not. Break that law at your peril.


I know and I personally wouldn't advise it.

However, I'm aware of at least two alledged instances of this happening and in one of these, the supervisor supposedly suggested it. There will probably be others.

It's not good and not clever in my eyes, I'll admit. But I've been told it happens. The logic and sense if allowable is to try to change registration to part-time and actively look for work.


Ian
posted
07-May-19, 13:26
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 2 months ago
Another thought. Is a post-graduate student loan yet possible to fund living costs over the year four write-up period?

Ian.
posted
07-May-19, 16:21
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for pepperhope
posted about 2 months ago
Thanks for the Suggestion Mr. MAckem.

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