How to apply for Education Maintenance Allowance
The Money to Learn Education Maintenance Allowance, known as EMA, is a payment of £30 a week which is paid fortnightly straight into your bank account.
Applying for Education Maintenance Allowance
EMA applications for the academic year 2022 to 2023 have now closed. Application forms and notes for the academic year 2023 to 2024 are expected to be available to download in May/June 2023 using the link below. Printed EMA application forms and notes for the academic year will also be available from schools and Further Education Colleges. In the meantime, general information on the EMA Scheme for the academic year 2023 to 2024 can be found using the link below.
Before applying for EMA
Before applying for EMA:
- think about what course you want to do and where you might want to study
- if you already have a bank account in your name, make sure it can accept direct credits or you will need to open another account
If you need help or advice on setting up a bank account talk to your parent or carer, or visit your local bank. It may take a few weeks to set up a bank account, so you should allow for this before you send in your application.
If you have any concerns about opening a bank account, contact the EMA Customer Services team.
Evidence needed with your application
If you hold a valid UK passport, enter these details on the application form. You don't need to send your UK passport as proof of date of birth or address.
If you don't have a UK passport, you will need to send evidence to confirm your details.
For evidence of your date of birth, you need to send one of the following:
- your valid passport
- your birth/adoption certificate
- your national identity card
- your Biometric Residence Permit
For evidence of your address*, you need to send one of the following:
- a utility bill, dated within the last three months
- your rates bill for the current year
- your Tax Credit Award Notification
*The proof can be in your parent's name.
If your household income is between £20,501 and £22,500 you need to send evidence that there’s another dependant living in your household. You need to send either:
- your household’s most recent Child Benefit statement
- a copy of the child’s birth certificate
- your household’s most recent Tax Credit Award Notification that lists each young person
- a copy of the child’s birth certificate and a confirmation of enrolment or award from a Further Education Institution as proof that the child has been accepted onto a course (if the child is 16-20 and in full-time further education or training)
Independent status evidence
The table below shows the evidence you will need to give, depending on your specific circumstances on the first day of your course:
|Your circumstances||Evidence to send|
|Living under the care of the Department of Health (DoH) or foster parent(s)||A signed and stamped letter on headed paper from DoH which confirms you are living under their care or with foster parents and your current address|
|Receiving Income Support or income-related Employment and Support Allowance in your own name||Your benefits statement or Tax Credit Award Notification for 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021|
|Responsible for a child||Your most recent Child Benefit statement or your child’s birth certificate|
Further information can be found in the EMA Independence Status Evidence Guide. If you wish to discuss your situation further, call the Education Maintenance Allowance Helpline.
Third party evidence
If you're acting on behalf of a student who isn't capable of filling in or signing the application form and / or holding a bank or building society account in their own name, you need to prove that you're legally able to act as a third party for the EMA applicant.
You will need to send:
- documents from a public body (such as the Department of Health), or a Power of Attorney confirming that you're authorised to act and / or accept payments on the student's behalf
- a statement of the student's special educational needs or a letter showing you receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on behalf of the student
Enrolment and EMA Learning Agreement
After you have enrolled at a school or college you must sign an EMA Learning Agreement, which will be provided by your school or college and comes in two parts. Part A sets out the attendance-based criteria which you must meet in order to receive the EMA weekly allowance payment; whilst Part B sets out the performance and behavioural targets that you must meet in order to receive the January and June bonuses.
How payments are made
Payments will be made directly to your bank account.
If you are acting on behalf of a student with Special Educational Needs and /or one who can’t hold their own bank or building society account, you will need to prove you are legally able to act as a third party for the EMA applicant.
You will need to send documents from a public body (for example the Department of Health) or a Power of Attorney confirming that you are authorised to act and/or accept payments on the student’s behalf. Examples include a statement of the student’s special educational needs or a letter showing you receive Disability Living Allowance on behalf of the student.
All evidence should be original and will be returned as soon as possible.
For further information or advice contact the EMA Customer Services Team.
To find out how personal information you send when applying for student finance will be handled, go to the Student Loans Company personal information charter.
Application or payment queries
If you have a problem with your application or payments for Money to Learn EMA then you should contact the EMA Customer Services Team.
If you have already applied and your circumstances have changed then check out how you can get your application reviewed.
Further information on how to apply is available from your school, college or Jobs and Benefits office, or the Education Maintenance Allowance helpline.