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Education Maintenance Allowance

EMA is a weekly payment of £30 to help 16 to 20 year olds with the costs of further education. There are 2 performance based bonuses of £100 normally paid out in January and June. Payments are made every 2 weeks and are dependent upon students having 100% attendance (including authorised absences) at all of their timetabled classes each week.

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Eligibility Criteria

The following eligibility criteria must be met:


Students must have their 16th,17th, 18th, or 19th birthday on or between 2 July 2017 and 1 July 2018 and be starting or continuing in further education from September 2018.


Students must be undertaking a full time further education course (15 or more hours per week).


If you're a UK citizen who normally lives in the UK you should be able to get EMA. If you're not a UK citizen you may still be able to receive EMA, go to www.nidirect.gov.uk for more information.

Household Income

The table below shows how much you can receive based on your household situation.

Annual Household IncomeWeekly EMA Limit
£20,500 or less £30
Between £20,501 and £22,500 and there's at least 1 other dependant eligible for child benefit in your household, other than you £30
Between £20,501 and £22,500 and there are no other dependants eligible for child benefit in your household, other than you £0
£22,501 or more £0

When to Apply

Application forms can be collected from the College or downloaded from NI Direct website

To be eligible for payments backdated to the start of the academic year you must have applied to EMA by 28 September 2018.

Further Information and Contact Details

NI Direct Website

You can contact EMA on 0300 200 7089 or by email at ema_ni@slc.co.uk

SERC Customer Services: 0345 600 7555

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All information correct at time of print.
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Page printed on 22/07/2018 05:57:05