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Special Support Grant

The Special Support Grant pays up to £3,475 depending on your household income and is intended to help with additional course related costs such as books, equipment, travel or childcare.

Entitlement is calculated in the same way as the Maintenance Grant but will not affect the amount of Maintenance Loan you may be entitled to receive. Jobcentre Plus or your local authority’s Housing Benefit section will not take account of the Special Support Grant when assessing any claim you make for income related benefits.


You may be eligible for a Special Support Grant if you:

  • I am a lone parent (or a lone foster parent) of a child, or young person aged under 20 who is in full-time education below higher education level.
  • I have a partner who is also a student, and one or both of us is responsible for a child or young person under 20 who is in full-time education below higher education level.
  • I have a disability and qualify for the Disability Premium or Severe Disability Premium.
  • I am deaf and qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).
  • I have a disability and qualify for income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • I have been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks.
  • I am from abroad and am entitled to an Income Support Urgent Cases Payment because I am temporarily without funds for a period of up to 6 weeks.
  • I am waiting to go back to a course having taken agreed time out from that course due to an illness or caring responsibility that has now ended.
  • I am aged 60 or older.
  • I am eligible for Housing Benefit.
  • I am entitled to Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).
  • I am entitled to Disability Living Allowance.

To apply, print off the Application form for Special Support Grant and send it to your Education and Library Board (ELB) along with evidence.

If you are not sure of your Education and Library Board’s address you can use our ELB address finder.

You should complete your online application to ensure you receive your full entitlement to Student Finance.

Please note, if you are eligible to receive a Special Support Grant you will not be eligible for a Maintenance Grant