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Thursday, 25 November 2010

EMA: how much, and how often?

EMA will close to new applicants in England from January 2011. Learner support funds will be available through schools, colleges and training providers to help students who most need it to continue in learning. If you currently get EMA you will continue to receive it for the rest of this academic year, but you will not receive it next academic year.

EMA: how much could you get?

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) comes in weekly payments of £10, £20 or £30 which go directly into your bank account.

However, you will only get your money if you regularly attend and work hard on your course. 

If you're eligible for EMA, the amount you receive is calculated by looking at your household income. It isn’t affected by any money you earn from part-time work, and won’t make any difference to any benefits your parents get.

So, are you eligible for EMA?

Let’s keep things nice and simple. If you’re not already getting EMA, just check the list below. If the age, course and income descriptions apply to you, you’re likely to be eligible.

Your age

First of all you need to be 16, 17 or 18 and have left – or be about to leave – compulsory education.

Your course

You need to be enrolled on a course in England which is one of the following:

  • a full-time further education course at a college or school
  • a Diploma funded by the Young People’s Learning Agency (where available) or a course that leads to an Apprenticeship
  • a Young People’s Learning Agency-funded Foundation Learning Programme

Your household income

To get EMA in the academic year starting September 2010, your annual household income must be below £30,810 (for tax year 2009-10).

And there’s good news if you have a part-time job – any money you earn isn’t included in your overall household income.

 Your household income (for financial year 2009-10)  How much EMA you get  
 up to £20,817 per year  £30 per week
 £20,818 - £25,521 per year  £20 a week
 £25,522 - £30,810 per year  £10 a week
 more than £30,810 per year no entitlement to EMA

Apply for EMA

Like the sound of what you've read? It's simple to apply for EMA.

Does EMA affect other benefits?

No, EMA does not affect any other household benefits. So your parents and carers are still free to keep claiming child benefit, tax credits and so on.

If you have children, you may be able to apply for Care to Learn as well as EMA - meaning you could get extra help with childcare costs.

Information for parents and carers

If you’re a parent or carer, find out more by following the link below.

Studying in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales?

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