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  • FIRST POST
    • wonkotsane
    • By wonkotsane 18th May 17, 11:31 PM
    • 18Posts
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    wonkotsane
    Should a widowed step parent's income count in a student loan application?
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 11:31 PM
    Should a widowed step parent's income count in a student loan application? 18th May 17 at 11:31 PM
    My eldest stepson is in his first year at uni. He is thinking now about how much finance to apply for for his second year. Last year my income went over a threshold meaning he was entitled to less than he could have been. His mum passed away a fortnight ago and I'm wondering now if my income as his widowed stepdad still counts. He lives away from home and I was unable to adopt him thanks to his biological father's refusal to agree to it despite having nothing to do with him for years. It would be great not to go through the hassle of filling in all those forms again, I have more than enough on my plate at the moment and the pay rise I had this year probably isn't going to do him any favours.
Page 1
    • ceb1995
    • By ceb1995 18th May 17, 11:51 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    ceb1995
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 11:51 PM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 11:51 PM
    It's a complex situation but I think quite possibly he may now be considered an independent student, he may need to prove estrangement from his bio dad but as you haven't adopted him they may not count your income.
    It's best he calls and asks to speak to someone for specific advice on how to apply with this change of circumstances.
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    • wonkotsane
    • By wonkotsane 19th May 17, 12:11 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    wonkotsane
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 12:11 AM
    • #3
    • 19th May 17, 12:11 AM
    No problem proving estrangement from his biological father, he's seen him twice in maybe 4 or 5 years and both times this year - once when he was visiting his granny in hospital and again at his mum's funeral yesterday. He actually used child maintenance as a bargaining chip to sell us his half of the house, only agreeing to do it if he didn't ever have to pay child maintenance again (not that he paid it because he gave up work rather than pay but the CSA were still trying to get money out of him). I may not have been present at the conception but they're my kids, they have no relationship with him.
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 19th May 17, 1:50 AM
    • 2,003 Posts
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    Ben8282
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 1:50 AM
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 1:50 AM
    You are being quite contradictory.
    Your OP reads as if you want to get out of supporting your stepson while the rest of it reads as if you consider him as your own son. You really can't have it both ways.
    • Number75
    • By Number75 19th May 17, 8:55 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 190 Thanks
    Number75
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 8:55 PM
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 8:55 PM
    I don't read it that way at all. The OP considers himself a father to his stepson. Financially, his stepson will be better off if his stepfather isn't counted for the calculation. If that's the case, who wouldn't want to take advantage of that? It's got nothing to do with his emotional tie to his stepson.

    OP, I'm sorry for your loss.

    I have no idea if you can exclude your income on the basis of your widowhood. But the calculation is done on household income, and presumably you are still a household? This is probably quite unusual so you may need to speak to the horse's mouth.

    Good luck.
    • GarthThomas
    • By GarthThomas 19th May 17, 9:46 PM
    • 147 Posts
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    GarthThomas
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 9:46 PM
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 9:46 PM
    Financially, his stepson will be better off if his stepfather isn't counted for the calculation. If that's the case, who wouldn't want to take advantage of that?
    Originally posted by Number75
    Me, and anyone with integrity. It falls into the same class as a couple pretending not to be together to lodge separate benefits claims, or a politician listing a separate principal residence for tax reasons and for expenses.

    This board seems to veer very often from advice about entitlements into how to game the system. It's people doing this who lead to such a clamour for benefits to be cut.
    • wonkotsane
    • By wonkotsane 19th May 17, 10:33 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    wonkotsane
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 10:33 PM
    • #7
    • 19th May 17, 10:33 PM
    You are being quite contradictory.
    Your OP reads as if you want to get out of supporting your stepson while the rest of it reads as if you consider him as your own son. You really can't have it both ways.
    Originally posted by Ben8282
    I'm not looking to avoid supporting him. We couldn't afford to support him through university whether we wanted to or not and that's not change because his mum has passed away (she wasn't insured). My wife didn't work - was unable to work even if she wanted to - and there are three other children at home. He lives in London and is studying medicine so after Oxbridge, pretty much the most expensive course he could have chosen. Being an independent student doesn't mean he gets away without paying, it would just enable him to borrow more if he needs it. Like most means testing, student loans are based on income rather than ability to pay. My salary is pretty good if you ignore the fact it's been supporting 6 people but SLC are only interested in how much I earn, not what it gets spent on.
    • wonkotsane
    • By wonkotsane 19th May 17, 10:41 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    wonkotsane
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 10:41 PM
    • #8
    • 19th May 17, 10:41 PM
    Me, and anyone with integrity. It falls into the same class as a couple pretending not to be together to lodge separate benefits claims, or a politician listing a separate principal residence for tax reasons and for expenses.

    This board seems to veer very often from advice about entitlements into how to game the system. It's people doing this who lead to such a clamour for benefits to be cut.
    Originally posted by GarthThomas
    It doesn't give him anything for nothing, it just enables him to borrow more if he needs it. I couldn't afford to support him through uni before his mum died and I can't afford to support him through uni now. All of my kids will have to put themselves through university and come out the other side with tens of thousands of pounds of unaffordable debt just like 99% of English students.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 20th May 17, 6:05 AM
    • 6,848 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #9
    • 20th May 17, 6:05 AM
    • #9
    • 20th May 17, 6:05 AM
    Do you step-parent any younger children?
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/bereavement/benefits-and-bereavement/

    If your step-son has left home and become self supporting, as opposed to attends uni in term time and then comes back, he may be able to convince the SLC of this. I'd suggest he keeps all receipts for shopping, accommodation, income from work etc to prove this and takes advice from his student union around how to remove your relevance from his support loan.

    I suspect you're just going to have to run with it and he's going to have to get a part time job to supplement things.

    Fair or not, it's the system.
    Last edited by PeacefulWaters; 20-05-2017 at 6:13 AM.
    • GothicStirling
    • By GothicStirling 20th May 17, 8:32 AM
    • 939 Posts
    • 697 Thanks
    GothicStirling
    If he wasn't staying away at university, would he normally be living in your home? If the answer is yes, then yes you do have to declare it. To be blunt, its a bit !!!! that his Mam has died a couple of weeks ago, and you're trying to wriggle out of helping to support him.
    • Number75
    • By Number75 20th May 17, 8:59 AM
    • 174 Posts
    • 190 Thanks
    Number75
    OP isn't trying to wriggle out of supporting him at all!
    That's a rude and unfair thing to say.

    There is nothing wrong with claiming the maximum the system will allow.

    This OP isn't going to adjust his support to his stepson based on this. He can't support financially either way (he's recently widowed with other children at home!). No- one is talking about free money here for the stepson, only the difference in how much the stepson can BORROW.
    • wonkotsane
    • By wonkotsane 4th Jul 17, 11:52 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    wonkotsane
    Just a quick update. The SLC have asked for evidence of estrangement and a copy of the divorce papers. He has broken up from his course for the summer and is staying with his nan for a few weeks before heading back down to London to move into a shared house where he will live for the next however many years. So to answer GothicStirling's question above no, he wouldn't be living here if he wasn't at uni and not because he's not welcome but because he finds it too stressful here for a variety of reasons.
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