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Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

What is EMA?

Education Maintenance Allowance – EMA – is an income-assessed weekly allowance of £30 to help students with the cost of further education. It is paid every two weeks directly into the student’s bank account.

It provides young people, who wish to continue in education after school leaving age, with an incentive to earn awards through good attendance and achieving agreed objectives.

Receipt of EMA will not affect any benefits which are currently paid to your household.

What do I need to do?

If the student is dependent on you, you will need to submit information and evidence about your income on the application form. We will need your details if you are the student’s:

  • Parent;
  • Guardian;
  • Step-parent; or
  • Mother's or father's partner.

People who do not need to provide any information or evidence to support the application are:

  • Any adult brothers or sisters of the student, who are aged 21 or over, living in the same household as the student; or
  • Any parent, step-parent or guardian who does not normally live in the same household as the student (even if they make maintenance payments).

If the student is independent you will not need to supply any information. More details about how we decide a student’s dependency status can be found in the student section:

What evidence do I need to send in for EMA?

You must provide evidence of your household income for the prior tax year 2015-16. If the student lives independently of you they must provide evidence of their own household income.

If your household income has dropped since tax year 2015-16, you can be assessed using your current household income. You would still need to complete the application form providing your tax year 2015-16 information and evidence. In addition you should send a letter with your completed form asking to be assessed on your current year income along with evidence of your current year income and details of when the change took place.

The application guidance notes provides more information about the types of evidence you can submit to support the student’s application for EMA.



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