Benefits for 16- and 17-year-olds

If you are a kinship carer to a 16- or 17-year-old, find out how they might be able to claim Universal Credit.

Benefits for 16- and 17-year-olds are limited. However, a young person may be able to claim Universal Credit if they meet all of the Universal Credit conditions, and one of the following:

  • has limited capability for work
  • is waiting for an assessment to determine whether you have limited capability for work and you have a fit note given by a registered medical practitioner which confirms you are not fit for work
  • has regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person
  • is responsible for a child
  • are in a couple with responsibility for at least one child and their partner is eligible for Universal Credit
  • is pregnant and expecting to give birth in the next 11 weeks
  • has given birth in the last 15 weeks
  • does not have parental support, for example, is estranged from their parents, and is not under local authority care

When ‘looking for work’ isn’t a requirement

A young person won’t need to look for work as part of their Universal Credit claim if both of the following apply:

  • they’re in full time education or training
  • they don’t have a parent, foster parent or local authority looking after them

Find out more about how to make a claim for Universal Credit (GOV.UK)

Personal Independence Payments

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit to help with the extra costs of a disability for adults aged 16 to pension age. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children when they turn 16.

A young person may qualify for PIP from the age of 16 if they have a long-term physical disability or mental health condition, which affects their ability to carry out certain daily activities required for independent living or causes difficulties in them getting around outdoors.

Find out more about Personal Independence Payments (GOV.UK)

Young person moving from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments

If the young person you are caring for is currently receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Department for Works and Pensions will invite them to make a new claim for PIP shortly after their 16th birthday. They will be notified of this invitation by letter.

In order to start the PIP application process, they will need to call the PIP new claims line. An application form will be sent to them, and they will need to complete and return the form within 28 days.

Find out more about Disability Living Allowance (GOV.UK)

Support from Kinship

Here at Kinship, we offer a range of free support for all kinship carers, including workshops, online advice and information, and peer support groups.

Contact our advice service to speak to an adviser or book an appointment.