§ Mr. McGrady
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to what benefits students who are incapacitated due to accident or ill health and are thereby unable to attend their studies are entitled; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir John Wheeler
In general, financial support for students is given through the educational programme and not the social security system. However, the following benefits may be available to students during periods of incapacity:
Sickness Benefit may e paid to a student who is incapable of work whilst undergoing a course of study subject to the satisfaction of certain National Insurance contribution conditions.
Invalidity Benefit will become payable where the incapacity continues and sickness benefit has been in payment for 28 weeks.
Disability Living Allowance is a non-contributory benefit which is payable where the "care" and "mobility" requirements and other enabling conditions are met.
Severe Disablement Allowance is a non-contributory benefit available to students (aged 19 or over) who are unable to work for at least 28 weeks because of sickness or disablement. If they first become incapable after their 20th birthday, they must also be assessed as, at least, 80 per cent disabled.
Income Support is available to disabled students who:
- —are receiving Disability Living Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance, or
- —who have an invalid vehicle, or
- —who are registered blind, or
- —who qualify for an Education and Library Board disabled student's allowance because of deafness, or
- —whose illness continues beyond 28 weeks