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Free college course & JSA
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# 1
Old 06-07-2009, 7:37 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 424
Default Free college course & JSA

I'm claiming JSA (although no paper work through yet :rolleyes.
I've been looking at doing an evening ECDL course to get a qualification which will hopefully help the job hunt. The college waives the course fees(or they're paid by the government... not sure which), around £180 inc. exam fees, if you're claiming benefit.

1. If I get a job before the course finishes (hopefully in 18wks I will have a job!) will I have to pay any remaining course fees?
2. If I get a job after signing up for the course but BEFORE the course start date will I have to pay fees?

Any help would me much appreciated

blue_ashleigh is offline
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# 2
Old 07-07-2009, 9:11 AM
Serious MoneySaving Fan
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: In the Flat Fields
Posts: 1,333

I think you will have to pay the fees as you're supposed to notify the DWP of any changes in your personal circumstances. As they will actually be paying your fees, these will probably be cut, unless you're lucky enough to fall between the lines.

As for being most of the way through the course, well, I don't know to be honest.
I'll have some cheese please, bob.
mizzbiz is offline
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# 3
Old 07-07-2009, 4:24 PM
MoneySaving Convert
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 81

i did this. i signed up for a course and before i started it i got a job. i asked them about it at the time and they said i might have to pay a small exam fee but wouldnt need to pay for the course. but i never thought to mention it to them that i had got a job so i never had to pay anything!
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# 4
Old 07-07-2009, 6:24 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 424

That would be magic! I really want to do the course but even if I get a job I'm not sure I'd have £180 to fork out right away!
blue_ashleigh is offline
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# 5
Old 07-07-2009, 7:01 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 29,857

Are you claiming conts or income based JSA? Many courses are only free to those on income based JSA, so you will need to clarify this (and take proof) when enrolling.
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# 6
Old 07-07-2009, 8:03 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 799

Well i don't know about the rest of the country but here on the Isle Of Wight the goverment according to my JSA advisor has declared it an unemployment diaster zone. This is mainly due to one the biggest employers here shutting down with the loss of 600 jobs. She told me that the goverment have given them a BIG pot of money to do re-training with. I mentioned a plumbing course at a cost of £1k that i wanted to do and she said the money would easily cover it. (Although she wasn't allowed to tell me the exact amount). I asked her about a Microsoft Office Expert course that also appealed and she said it would cover that at a cost of £1,400. She did say however that officially you can't spend more then 15 3/4hrs a week studying, but with courses such as the Microsoft one which is flexibile studying who's to know and if you did get a job you can still study around that. By the way i will be claiming contribution based JSA.
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# 7
Old 08-07-2009, 7:11 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 424

I'm claiming income based JSA.
It'll only be 3 hours per week max and is in the evening so won't have to give up if/when get a job.
Sounding promising!
blue_ashleigh is offline
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# 8
Old 28-07-2009, 12:27 PM
MoneySaving Newbie
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4

Really glad you posted this as I had exact same question!

Only difference is that in our area (merseyside), the DWP don't pay for ANY training courses except for a very few specific ones - instead, they're paid for by the local authority if you qualify (JSA etc) for fee remission.

The DWP have also been categoric in stating that attending even a part-time day time courses would mean you are not available for work so a JSA claim would be ended. Also, the money available in our area has apparently been cut back as our local college has had to cancel some basic courses such as the Learn Direct ECDL, due to funding cancellation.

Anyway, I intend to enrol for an evening course as soon as I find the exam fee (payable up front) and I too was wondering what would happen regarding the course fee remission if I got a job before starting/completing the course. My LA site gives no information for this scenario.
I'm going to take it that if it was paid by the local authority at enrolment, then the college would not be interested in any new-found employment.
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# 9
Old 29-07-2009, 7:23 PM
MoneySaving Newbie
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4

I work in an FE college. Our policy is that we allow those in receipt of benefits to continue on their courses even if there is a change in circumstances because you will not have had the money to pay for the course at the time of enrollment, which is when we require you to pay it. I think that it would be highly unlikely that the DWP would request a repayment - the payment to the college is triggered through the LSC and is retrieved as soon as data has been submitted re. your status. At the end of the day, you enrolled on the course in good faith because you're willing to increase your skillset which ultimately ought to benefit the economy.
jamiewalker1982 is offline
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# 10
Old 30-07-2009, 3:14 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 202

Your local college will be able to answer any questions, although its the holiday there is usually someone around. They should have a website where you can get information and order a prospectus.

I just called my college to ask about enrolling on an RSA word processing course cos I'm blooming sick of seeing it on application forms. It's just under £200 if you pay fees so I thought I might as well.
The lady I spoke to was really helpful and just told me to pop in once they are open in September with a letter to prove my JSA, so I'll double check everything then.
I was kind of hoping I wouldn't be on JSA by Sep, but the way things are going...!
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