If you decide to stay on at school or go to a further education college in Northern Ireland, you may be able to get the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). It is available for both academic and vocational courses.
EMA is a weekly award of £30 which is paid fortnightly to students who meet the eligibility criteria below.
It is intended to help cover the day-to-day costs that you have to meet when you stay on at school or college like travel costs, books and equipment for your course.
Who is entitled to EMA
You can get an EMA if you're aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 years on or between 2 July 2022 and 1 July 2023 and all of the following statements apply to you:
- your household income is £20,500 or less for households with one dependent child
- your household income is £22,500 or less for households with more than one dependent child
- you are full time at school or doing a minimum of 15 guided hours per week at college
- you are studying an eligible course and attending all classes
- you meet the nationality and residency rules set out in the EMA scheme
- you have not already received the maximum allowance for EMA which is 117 positive or negative weekly attendance confirmations over the total length of your course
You may be entitled to receive EMA for a maximum of three years, as long as the household income does not rise above the income threshold which applies to your household.
Receipt of EMA will not affect any other benefits being received in the household.
If you have been granted leave to enter or remain under a Ukraine Scheme, note that an addendum has been added to printed EMA Application Forms from 11 August 2023