Full-time students who suspend their studies can request for the student finance to continue whilst they are suspended. Student finance have the discretion to permit this. You will need a letter from either AskBU or SUBU Advice to explain why you have suspended, gather medical evidence and any evidence of potential financial hardship that will result if the funded stops. In addition, it is advised that you write to Student Finance and request you funding continues. SUBU Advice can support you in putting this ‘pack’ of information together. We have template letters you can use and can advise you how to evidence financial hardship.



Whilst still active on your course you can apply for the BU Hardship Fund via AskBU and there may be some trusts and charities that could aid as well. Check out Turn2Us to search for grant and contact us for more information about trust and charities. Full-time student are not eligible for income support, housing benefit or universal credit. However, part-time students can claim income support (IS) at the 11th week before the baby is due, or earlier if you have a pregnancy related illness and unable to work.


Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Maternity Allowance (MA) may be available to you, depending on your work history. If you do not qualify for SMP then you may be able to claim MA. If you are not eligable for MA then you can submit a claim for IS. If you have a pregnancy-related illness and you are unable to claim Statutory Sick Pay, then you may be eligable for Employment Support Allowance (ESA). ESA can be paid until the 11th week before your baby's due date (week 29 of pregancy). After this you may be eligable for IS.


In addition to the benefits listed on our student parents page, some lone parents can claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant of £500 if there are no other children aged under 16 years in the household. If you are part of a couple you can claim the Sure Start Maternity Grant if one of you receives a qualifying benefit. There is a deadline of three months after the baby is born to claim so familiarise yourself with the process and apply as soon as possible.


You may also be eligible for the Healthy Start food vouchers and vitamins. Healthy Start provides food vouchers and vitamins to those who are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years of age and you or your family receive income support/income-based jobseekers allowance or child tax credit or universal credit.


Whilst pregnant you can apply for a Maternity Exemption card. Your midwife will usually give you the application form and signet for you. This card entitles you to free prescriptions and dental care.



If you are struggling to make ends meet please look at our hardship funding page and contact us for advice.



The Money Advice Service has a really useful article and calendar tool to ascertain what you can claim and when you should submit the claim.


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