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Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Photo: Students who study or live permanently in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland you may be eligible for Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

What is Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)?

Education Maintenance Allowance (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 and they receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or have an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan, 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 £20,817 or £23,077 if there is more than one dependent child in the household
    • in Northern Ireland, the household income must be below £20,500 or £22,500 if there are is than one dependent child in the household
    • in Scotland, the household income must be below £24,421 or £26,884 if there is more than one dependent child 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.