Benefits and Earning

Not many young people are entitled to benefits, but it can be helpful to learn more
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Benefits are payments for people who may need some extra help. To get benefits, you need to check you are eligible and make a claim. There are different benefits available to people depending on their circumstances.

Age is very important:

  • If you are aged 18+ you are an adult and can receive benefits
  • If you are aged 16-17 you are usually a child: your parents or carers are responsible for your care (there are some exceptions)
  • If you are under 16 you are a child: your parents or carers are responsible for your care

Responsible for your care means that your parents or carers should provide you with a home, food, and other necessities. If your parents need extra help to do this, they may apply for benefits.

Benefits are complicated, but there are good guides online, and advisers at your local Citizen Advice Bureau or Job Centre Plus can help you.

Instant Expert: Everything about benefits from the benefits pages

Young people aged 16-17

If you are aged 16-17 you have the right to free full time education, and to live with your parents or carers. Your parents may receive benefits to support you, as long as you remain in full-time education.

If you are unable to live with your parents, then you can sometimes claim benefits, depending on your situation. You will need to be in full time education.

If you are a young parent aged 16-17 you may be eligible for benefits which are designed to keep you and your baby healthy.

Crucial:  If for any reason you have to leave home, and you are under 18, then you need to tell your Local Authority and the police. They will help you with your situation.

Care to learn

Care to Learn is a benefit especially for young people who are parents. It supports them to stay in learning by making payments towards childcare costs. You must be:

  • A parent, or expecting a child
  • Aged under 20 at the start of your course

How else can I get money?

Young people, like grown ups, often worry about money: making it, saving it, and having enough to spend on everything they need.

Parents support their children to provide them with necessities. Some children also do part time jobs  where they can earn money and learn about the world of work. 

Crucial: When parents or carers do not provide a child with necessary things like clothes, food, attention, medical care and somewhere warm and safe to live then this is abuse, even if they are trying to do the right thing. Find out more about neglect and abuse.

Find out more

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