If you have a long-term disability or condition you might be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This benefit is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) so if you are already on DLA you will be switched to PIP in the next few years.
PIP is given to help you with the extra costs of living with your condition but you can spend the money however you like – and it isn’t taxable. PIP is based on how your condition affects your ability to carry out daily activities, such as washing yourself, dressing and undressing, preparing food, socialising with people, and moving around.
Once you have PIP, you might also be able to claim Universal Credit with elements for illness or disability (which replaced Employment and Support Allowance). However, in order to claim you must have had a Work Capability Assessment and students are not eligible to be assessed; this means you will need to have already had a WCA before the start of your course. Welfare advisers had been using a loophole to help students start a claim during their course but as of December 2021 this loophole will be closed (subject to any successful court challenges).
Alternatively, some students can claim new-style Employment and Support Allowance if they have enough National Insurance contributions from previous work.
If you're able to claim Universal Credit you could also be entitled to the housing element to help with rent.
Those on an income-related benefit may also qualify for Council Tax Reduction/Support, please visit your local council's website for information about how to apply to them.
You can get more information about what help is available to disabled students on the ‘Disabled Students’ page.