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EMA: the facts for parents and carers

If your child stays in learning after 16, Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) could give them up to £30 a week to help with their costs. It won't affect a penny of any benefits you get.

Helping your child get on in life

There's a world of learning choices available for your children if they are aged 16-19 and have left or are about to leave compulsory education.

Whatever they want to do, they’ll find a course to suit their ambitions - from office administration to digital media, science and technology to travel, tourism and hospitality.

They'll be able to find a way of learning that's right for them too. This might be staying in sixth form, through a college or at work. Vocational qualifications provide excellent training for work and life too.

Do you want to make sure you offer the right advice? There's lots of help available. Just call the EMA Customer Services Team on:

  • phone: 0300 200 7089

Or contact your local Jobs and Benefits Office.

How can EMA help your child?

EMA is there to help with some costs, such as books, travel or equipment which will help your child carry on learning. It is a payment of £30 a week, paid fortnightly.

In addition to the EMA payments, two Bonus payments of £100 may be paid to students if they achieve their goals and objectives that are set down for them by their school/college as part of the Learning Agreement Part 2. The first Bonus payment is made to returning students in January and the second Bonus payment is made in June.

This money will be paid straight into your child's bank account. To get their EMA payments, they will need to open an account if they haven't got one already.

Is your child eligible to receive EMA?

Family circumstances Household income threshold
You are an independent student £20,500
You are the only child in the household £20,500
You have one or more brothers or sisters aged 16 or under in the household £22,500
You have one or more brothers or sisters aged 20 or under in full-time education or training and eligible for child benefit in the household £22,500

What do you need to provide?

To complete the application form you will need to provide some extra information. You will need to send evidence of your household income for the relevant tax year. This might be a Tax Credit Award Notice (TC602) or P60.

To find out more about Tax Credits and P60s, follow the links below.

There are other criteria which qualify your child for EMA, including age, type of course and how many dependent children there are in your household. Find out if your child is eligible by clicking on the link below.

What about claiming other benefits?

The good news is that EMA doesn't affect any other benefits you may already claim. So you are still free to keep claiming child benefit, tax credits and other types of support.

Find out more

To find out more about EMA, either phone the EMA Customer Services Team on 0300 200 7089 or follow the link below.