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Claiming benefits at age 16

Claiming benefits at age 16
 
At the age of 16 your child will become eligible for a much wider range of welfare benefits in his or her own right. Even while still at school, he or she may qualify for some benefits depending on individual circumstances.
 
Your child may be able to claim:
  • Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Income Support;
  • Jobseeker's allowance (if available for work); and
  • being disregarded for Council tax (once aged 18).
If your son or daughter does claim benefits in his or her own right this can affect other benefits that parents might get - like child benefit or income support.
 
Once your child reaches 16, get advice from your local benefits advice service about what he or she can claim and the advantages or disadvantages of claiming.  This will help to ensure that your child gets maximum benefit while safeguarding the family's income as a whole.
 
If you are your child's appointee, this will be reviewed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) when he or she reaches 16.  It is possible for you to continue in this role if your son or daughter lacks the capacity to deal with benefit claims.
 
Finding your nearest welfare rights service
 
Your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) can undertake benefits checks and give free independent advice about entitlements. You can find your nearest CAB on the Citizens Advice Scotland website
 
Most local social work departments also have welfare rights and income maximisation services.

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