Money and Advice
The University’s Hardship Fund will of course remain open to our enrolled students. As with all other applications to the Hardship Fund, we will assess applications on a case by case basis and we would encourage students affected by this, to apply.
Due to the limited scope of the fund, we cannot provide a commitment to make up for lost income or a guaranteed award for applicants. However, we can assure applicants that the current climate and the financial ramifications of it, will be taken into account in our assessment process and we will do our utmost to support those students who are in most need.
Applications can be submitted through https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/hardship-fund-applications
Our Student Money Advisers are available to support our students during the Covid-19 crisis. For specific advice for students affected financially by the crisis, please encourage your students to call 0113 812 5593 or request a call back via the link below.
Every effort has been made to ensure that this factsheet is accurate up to 20th May 2020 from the information currently available, however, this is a fast-changing situation. Leeds Beckett University does not accept responsibility for any inaccurate or out of date information in this factsheet, which is a guide only and not a statement of entitlement.
If you have lost your job or you are not currently working and your employer cannot afford to pay you, they may be able to class you as a ‘furloughed worker’. Under this scheme, your employer can claim a grant from the government for up to 80% of your wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500. Employees on zero-hour contracts are also included so it is worth getting in touch with your employer and see if they can help. You will need to have started your job before March 19th 2020 and have been on the PAYE payroll before this date.
Statutory Sick Pay
Full-time students can get SSP as long as they meet the rules https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay
You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.
If you are staying at home because of COVID-19 you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.
You need to have been earning an average of £118 per week. Agency workers can also get SSP.
Guidance for Employees
SLC can confirm that students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their Maintenance Loan at the planned start of their next term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching, and even if students are no longer in university accommodation and have returned home.
New and returning students should apply for their student funding for 20/21 as soon as posisble to ensure this is in place before the start of the academic year. Students can amend (or cancel) their application anytime prior to registration with the University.
If your parents' income falls by 15% or more in the coming year, they can ask for their current year income, ie. 2020/21 instead of 2018/19 income, to be taken into account when working out how much maintenance loan you can get - Current Year Income
SFE contact centres are fully open. You may need to wait longer than usual to get through to them, so it may be worth checking to see if the answer to your question is in the SFE guidance below before calling.
If you find yourself struggling financially, you can apply to the University Hardship Fund. Awards are not guaranteed, but we will look at each application on a case by case basis, and we will do our utmost to support those students who are most in need. You can apply here: https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/hardship-fund-applications/. If you have already made an application this academic year you can complete a shortened review form in the link above.
Overseas students who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak can also apply to the Hardship Fund.
The University has confirmed that students in Leeds Beckett accommodation (and also students who are with Unipol who were allocated their room through Leeds Beckett) who have now left and returned home will be released from their contract early. This means these students will not have to make their final rent payment that is due later this month. Students still living in Leeds Beckett accommodation who are unable to leave will have their rent halved for the period up until the end of the academic year. Students affected should have received an e-mail to explain this, but if you have any further questions around this you can call the Accommodation Team on 0113 812 5972.
For students who are living in Unite accommodation, Unite have confirmed that if you would like to be released from your contract early you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, and as long as you do this by Friday 10th April you will not have to pay your outstanding rental payment.
For any other accommodation, contact your letting agency/landlord, explaining your situation and ask if you can delay your next rent payment or pay a reduced amount. For further guidance and support around this you can contact Leeds Beckett Student Union Advice Service.
On 18th March, the government announced emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants in private or social accommodation for at least a three-month period.
You cannot be evicted without the Landlord following the correct legal procedures. Most private tenants are ‘assured shorthold tenants’. Shelter has a good guide and information about tenants rights.
Final year students who have completed their course can apply for Universal Credit if they are not currently working or if they are on a low wage. The majority of courses end on 17th May, however you can confirm with your Course Administrator to see if your course has been officially extended.
If you are not being furloughed and you are not entitled to SSP, then you may be entitled to either New-style Jobseekers Allowance, New-style Employment and Support Allowance (if you have paid enough NI contributions and have limited capability for work) or Universal Credit. BUT – Full-time students cannot claim Universal Credit or Jobseekers Allowance except in very limited circumstances. Part-time student status does not affect your eligibility for Universal Credit, except where it might affect your ability to look for work.
To be eligible as a full-time student for Universal Credit you need either: be responsible for a child or young person, or, have limited capability for work and get PIP or DLA, or, you are a single foster parent, or, your partner is a student and you are fostering a child, or, you have a partner who is not a student, or who is a student but fits into one of the other categories or, finally, if you have been ill or have been caring for someone and you have now recovered or finished caring and you are waiting to return to your course.
If you are currently receiving benefits, the standard allowance in Universal Credit and the basic element in Working Tax Credit has been increased by £20 per week on top of the planned annual uprating. This applies to all new and existing claims and will be in place for one year from 6th April 2020. This means that for a single Universal Credit claimant under 25, the standard allowance will increase from £215.77 to £307.84 per month.
Local Housing Allowance rates have increased to the 30th percentile of market rents. This will apply to all private renters who are new or existing Universal Credit housing element claimants, and to existing Housing Benefit claimants.