Education Maintenance Allowance

 A young person looks at information on Access to Work with their employer or college tutor.

What is Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)?

EMA is a benefit paid to students who are either studying or permanently resident in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

If your child is studying in England, they might be able to get help from the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

Who can claim EMA?

To qualify for EMA students need to:

  • be aged 16–19
  • be living in a low income household
    • in Wales, the household income must be below £23,077 (it also depends how many dependent children are in the household)
    • in Northern Ireland, the household income must be below £22,500
    • in Scotland, the household income must be below £22,403 (it also depends how many dependent children are in the household)
  • have left or be about to leave compulsory education and plan to carry on with their studies.

If your child qualifies, the amount they’ll get is calculated by looking at your household income. It’s not affected by any money your child earns from part-time work and won’t make any difference to any benefits you already receive.

For more information go to www.gov.uk/education-maintenance-allowance-ema