You are here: Home / Support / Money / Help from UCLan / UCLan Financial Support / OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund

OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund

Funding for students financially impacted by Covid-19 (May 2021).

What is the OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund?

All UK Universities, including UCLan, have been offered an additional share of funding provided by the Office for Students (OfS) to support students who have suffered significant financial hardship as a direct result of the latest restrictions imposed to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest instalment of funding from the OfS has been provided as a continuation of the support that was offered earlier in the academic year.

Who can apply?

The OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund is for students who have been significantly impacted financially by Covid-19. This fund is limited and not all applicants are guaranteed to receive an award.

All applications will be scored and compared against the guidance set out by the OfS and the University to ensure that those most in need of support get priority.
Please read the below guidance on 'How the fund is assessed' before applying to ensure you meet the eligibility guidelines.
Please note: If you are an international student in your first year of study you are unlikely to be considered for this particular support as you are required to prove that you have enough money for your tuition fees and living costs as part of the Student Route/Tier 4 visa. As such we must presume first year international students have adequate means to support their day to day expenses despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Students who are not currently residing in the UK will not be eligible for this award.

UCLan Partnership students are eligible to apply to this fund.


What is the eligibility criteria and how is the fund assessed?

You will need to fill in an application form and all applications will be assessed on your need for support in one or more of the following areas:

1. Rent

  • If you are paying additional rent or board costs elsewhere and have been unable to leave a private rental contract, have not been offered a discount or compensation on your term time rent for a dwelling where you are now unable to live due to Covid-19. (Please note that students living in University accommodation or with any other provider who is known to have already compensated students in this position will not be considered for support in this category).
  • Overseas students who planned to leave the UK over the summer period to go home but are now unable to leave the UK due to your home country being on the ‘red list’ and have additional unplanned accommodation costs as a result of this.
  • If you received an award from the previous OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund because you had additional accommodation costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a further award if your circumstances have continued and are beyond your control. We will require applicants to evidence your circumstances with your new application and will not be able to use evidence that has been submitted as part of a previous financial support application.

2. IT equipment 

  • If you have insufficient IT equipment to allow you to study remotely. For example, if your device has broken this academic year or you have not had access to sufficient equipment.
  • If you have already been issued an award for equipment through the previous OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund, the Harris Bursary Fund or Disabled Student Allowances you will not be considered for support in this category.
  • If your IT equipment has broken or you have not had access to equipment you must provide evidence that you have made your academic team or another support team at the University aware of your circumstances. We are not able to consider applications from students that have not already disclosed their circumstances to the University.
  • Students in the first year of study will only be considered if your equipment has broken since the start of your course.
  • We are unable to consider support for students in this category that are due to complete their course in 2020/21 as this fund is specifically aimed at helping students to continue in their studies.

3. Household Income

  • If your household income has been significantly impacted by Covid-19. For example, if you have been furloughed, are not eligible for furlough or if you have lost a job and still have no work since the closure of the last OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund on 16 February 2021.
  • If you are an international student in your first year of study you will not be considered for support in this category as you are required to prove that you have enough money for your tuition fees and living costs as part of the Student Route/Tier 4 visa application.
  • If you received an award from the previous OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund because your household income was impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic you may be eligible for a further award if your circumstances have continued and are beyond your control. You must provide evidence of your current circumstances with your new application as you will not be able to use evidence that has been submitted as part of a previous financial support application.

How can I apply for the OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund?

Please complete the OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund Application Form

Applications for the fund are now open and will close at 4pm on Wednesday 30 June 2021.

To apply for the OfS Covid-19 Hardship fund please complete the above application form in full. You MUST complete ALL questions in the application form, providing as much information as possible about your circumstances in the Personal Statement section to ensure we have all the information required to assess your need for support.

You will also need to upload supporting evidence as part of your application. Please find below, some examples of the types of evidence that we will require. This is not an exhaustive list but may help you to be prepared before starting your application.

 

Household income

For students or partners that have been furloughed and are still earning a percentage of their usual wage

A payslip (issued in or after April 2021) showing furloughed pay or correspondence from employer confirming furloughed status. If you received an award from the OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund earlier in the year due to your household income being impacted in this category, you will need to provide evidence that your circumstances have continued since the beginning of March 2021 to the current date.

For students or partners that have lost their job/are not entitled to furlough/have been furloughed on a zero hours contract and are not earning a percentage of their usual wage

Evidence required for students that have lost their job, P45 or other correspondence confirming job loss (March 2021). For students that are not entitled to furlough (or other government schemes), correspondence from employer confirming this. For students on a zero hours contract, a payslip as proof of furloughed status but no pay or correspondence from your employer confirming your status. If you received an award from the OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund earlier in the year due to your household income being impacted in this category, you will need to provide evidence that your circumstances have continued since the beginning of March 2021 to date.

For students or partners who are self-employed, have experienced a serious loss of income due to Covid-19 and have not been entitled to apply for support from the government

Correspondence confirming application for support and/or confirmation of rejection from March 2021 onwards. Where it was known that you were not eligible for support, please provide a copy of the legislation to confirm this, along with evidence that this applies to you. If you received an award from the OfS Covid-19 Hardship Fund earlier in the year due to your household income being impacted in this category, you will need to provide evidence that your circumstances have continued since the beginning of March 2021 to date.

For students or partners that have lost income due to self-isolating for a period of time since 16 February 2021 due to contracting Covid-19 or living in the same household as someone who has tested positive for Covid-19

Correspondence confirming either a positive Covid-19 test or a self-isolation notice issued since 16 February 2021 as well as proof that this has impacted your income for the period of time. This could be payslips showing your usual wage vs your payslip showing a reduced wage for the period of self-isolation or correspondence from an employer to confirm that you/your partner will not be paid for the period you were unable to work.

Accommodation

For students who are currently unable to live in term time accommodation due to Covid-19 and have additional accommodation costs

Accommodation contract(s) for the residence that you are unable to live in and the contract or letter for the accommodation that you are currently residing in. If this is with parents or family will also require proof that you are paying regular and consistent board by way of bank statements from February 2021 to date. We also need recent correspondence from your letting agent/landlord as proof that you have attempted to exit your contract or that your provider is not already providing you with a financial discount or compensation for the accommodation that you are currently unable to use.

For overseas students who planned to leave the UK over the summer period to go home and who are now unable to leave the UK due to your home country being on the ‘red list’ and have additional unplanned accommodation costs as a result of this

Documents to show your accommodation contract ending or booked flights home to prove intent to travel home over the summer period. Please ensure that your ‘home address’ is correct on your UCLan student record as we will use this to determine whether your home country is on the ‘red list’. You will also need to further explain, in the ‘personal statement’ section of the application form, what your plans are for over the summer and provide proof of your proposed accommodation costs over the summer period, you may need to contact multiple accommodation providers for quotes to ensure that you are choosing the most affordable option. We will also require proof that you are employed or actively seeking employment.

All evidence must be from an official source and we will not accept screenshots of text messages or emails where it is not clear who has provided the information and what your relationship is with this person, for example text message correspondence between employer and employee.
It is a mandatory part of the process to supply evidence where it is requested on the application form. Any applications that are submitted without the requested information and evidence will be automatically rejected and will not be put forward for consideration.

 

Application Hints and Tips

Your application form cannot be amended once submitted and due to tight timescales, we will not contact any applicant for missing information or evidence after submission.

If you get part way through the application and need to stop to gather evidence or ask a question, please save your partially completed application and only submit when you have provided ALL requested information and evidence.

If for any reason you are unable to upload evidence to CareerEdge, please email all requested evidence to CovidFund@uclan.ac.uk immediately after submitting your application and detail in the personal statement section of the application that you will be sending your evidence via email. To help us process your application efficiently, please send your evidence within 1 hour of submitting your application or your application may be rejected. If you would like to speak to a member of staff to discuss your evidence requirements prior to submitting the application, please email CovidFund@uclan.ac.uk (this email address is specifically for students who are struggling with the application process. We will not be able to answer questions about the outcome of an application or provide explanations for rejected applications).

If you have a disability or long term condition that makes it difficult for you to complete the application form, please contact the Inclusive Support team on 01772 892593 or email InclusiveSupport@uclan.ac.uk to ask for support.

Outcomes and Awards

The decision of the panel responsible for assessing applications is final and we will not be able to provide any bespoke individual responses about the outcome of any application due to the anticipated volume of applications.

Each applicant will receive an email from the University before 31 July 2021 to make them aware of the outcome of their application. We will not be able to provide information about whether an application has been successful over the telephone or as a response to an email query.

The University reserves the right to recover any funds awarded if the information provided as part of your application is proven to be false in nature.



What additional support is available to support me through the Covid-19 pandemic?

If you are struggling with your wellbeing, please refer yourself to the Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing teams for support.

UCLan has teamed up with Blackbullion to offer all of our students the opportunity to learn more about their finances and to improve their financial capability free of charge via an online learning platform. Sign up for free with your UCLan email address.

For guidance and information about the support available externally visit the Gov.UK website.

For independent advice and guidance about academic issues, advice for any welfare benefits, housing, finance or debt, or employment issues, please contact the UCLan Students' Union Advice and Representation Centre.