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Student carers

If you're a student who is caring for a partner, family member or friend who is elderly or has a disability, you may find the following information useful.

We have separate advice and information for mature students and students with children.

Academic matters

External financial support

  • Council Tax

    Full-time students are exempt from paying Council Tax. If the only other adult in the property is disabled or severely mentally impaired then the whole property may be exempt. If there are other adults living in the house too then you may still qualify for a reduction.

    If you have left your own property empty in order to live with and care for someone then you may not have to pay council tax on your empty property.


  • Carer's allowance

    Part-time students may be eligible to receive Carer's Allowance if they meet the eligibility criteria. Students studying more than a certain number of hours per week aren't eligible.


  • Adult Dependants' grant

    Full-time, UK undergraduate students may be eligible to receive a non-repayable grant to help with their costs associated with caring for an adult dependant.


  • Tax credits

    Tax credits are still available to eligible full and part-time students. Your student income (ie loans, grants, etc) isn't treated as income as it's not earned.


  • Income Support and/or Housing Benefit

    Part-time students, or students with a disability or who are lone parents may be eligible to receive Income Support and/or Housing Benefit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

    Benefits advice for you or the person you are caring for is also available from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Parking at our Colchester Campus

Students living in on-campus accommodation aren't usually eligible to park on campus. If you live at the Colchester Campus and have caring responsibilities which you feel mean you need to have a car, visit your Student Services Hub for an application form. Applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Advice, guidance and support

If you find that your caring responsibilities combined with the pressures of studying are affecting your emotional, mental or physical health, you may find it helpful to drop-in to your Student Services Hub for advice or support.

External support organisations

  • Carers UK is the voice of carers who provide unpaid care for an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner.
  • The Carers Trust provides support for people caring at home for family members or friends with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
  • NHS Carers Direct provides information, advice and support for carers.
  • Essex Carers' Support provides advice and support for informal carers of any age regardless of the nature of the disability.
  • Action for Family Carers is an Essex-based charity offering support and information to unpaid carers.