Sickness Benefit (including Hardship)
If you currently get a Sickness Benefit from Work and Income, this is how becoming a student would affect you.
Generally, you cannot receive a Sickness Benefit while studying full-time. However, you may be eligible for the Student Allowance and/or Student Loan instead. If you are intending to study please make an appointment with Work and Income to discuss your situation.
You may be able to study part-time while receiving a Sickness Benefit. This means that if it were not for your sickness, injury or disability, you would be:
- seeking full-time work
- available for it and
- willing to undertake it
You may also be able to get a Sickness Benefit if you fall sick during a break from study.
Please make an appointment with Work and Income to discuss your intention to study.
You may also qualify for the course fees component of the Student Loan depending on your study.
Remember, part-time study is based on EFTS.
Partner also receiving benefit
If you and your partner have no children or your youngest child is aged 6 or over, you may study full-time without it affecting your partner's benefit eligibility if you have been granted an exemption from your work test obligations because you:
- were in full-time approved study at the time they became subject to the work test or
- are engaged in approved full-time study.
Contact your case manager to discuss this.
If you are aged 24+ and there are no children
If you are aged 24 years or more with no children, and you and your partner are both getting a benefit, the same rules apply to their benefit as to yours.
If you or your partner are under 24
If you or your partner are aged under 24 years, with no children, your relationship will not be recognised for a Student Allowance. You may apply for the Student Allowance and a Student Loan as if you were a single person.
Your partner may be able to remain on a half-married rate of benefit.