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Students

Most students cannot claim Housing Benefit. Some students qualify for an exemption from Council Tax.

This restriction applies both during term time and all of the vacations, including the summer vacation.

However, some students can claim. If you are one of the following you can claim housing benefit:

  • Lone parents - if you are responsible for a child or young person and do not have a partner.
  • Pensioners - if you or your partner is aged 60 or over
  • People with Disabilities - providing that you satisfy certain conditions such as getting a disability related benefit.
  • Students who are getting Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance or Income Related Employment Support Allowance If you are a couple and both you and your partner are students and you have at least one dependant child.
  • If you are a couple and one partner is not a student (the non-student partner should make the claim).
  • If you are a student in further education (up to 'A Level' standard) and you are under 21 years of age
  • If you are a part time student - The law does not define full time or part time courses, so we may need to consult your educational establishment about this or tell us about your course.
  • If you are responsible for a foster child who has been formally placed with you by a local authority or a voluntary organisation
  • You are unable to get a grant or loan following an absence from studies due to illness or providing care. This applies only from the date you ceased your studies until the day before resuming the course, and only for a maximum of 1 year.


Trainees on government training for work schemes do not count as students, nor do people on other training courses that do not take place at a college, school or equivalent

How is benefit calculated?

The rules for student claims are complex, but here is some general information about what is taken into account when we work out your benefit:

A Student loan is treated as income whether or not you actually get it.
A fixed amount can be ignored from your loan for books and travelling expenses.

Most Student grants are treated as income but some are ignored. It is therefore important that you send your student finance letter that gives a full  breakdown of the types of grant you receive.
Payments from the Access Fund are treated as income if they are used to cover living expenses.
Covenant income is taken into account in full.

If you would like more details or advice, please contact us at: -
Welfare and Benefits, Citizens and Communities, Selectapost 15, Leeds, LS2 8BA
Telephone Leeds 0113 222 4404 or contact your Student Welfare Officer.

Other useful contacts for students:

Leeds University Union advice centre Tel: 0113 380 1300. Open 9am-5pm or 11am - 4pm for Drop-ins.
Leeds Metropolitan help zone Tel: 0113 283 3115 Open Monday-Thursday: 8am-8pm, Friday: 8am-5pm, Saturday 9am-12pm.
Leeds College of Art Student welfare officer/counsellor. Tel: 0113 202 8111 or email  helpzones@leedsmet.ac.uk
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How can I get proof that I've been exempt from council tax?

You may want to have proof of exemption for many reasons but most often you'll need it for landlords/letting agents as they demand to see it before releasing your bond/deposit.

We can send an exemption notice, which will state the dates in which the exemption has applied, to any address, though it must be via post.

You can request this using the Contact Us form on this page. Please include your name, the address the enquiry relates to and the address you'd like us to post the notice to.