How to use this Handbook
This Handbook is intended for those who advise students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland about their entitlement to student support, benefits, tax credits and other financial issues, such as tax and health benefits. It covers both further and higher education.
The Handbook covers rules affecting students studying in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who are eligible for support through English, Welsh and Northern Irish funding bodies. It does not cover the rules for students getting support from Scotland or elsewhere outside England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Note: the benefits system in Northern Ireland is separate from that in the rest of the UK, though differences are usually minor. Any significant differences are highlighted. For the sake of simplicity, we refer to the Department for Work and Pensions as the responsible department in this Handbook, but this should be read as the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.
CPAG publishes a companion volume entitled Benefits for Students in Scotland Handbook. Details can be found in Appendix 1.