For many young people the summer season is an exciting time. From holidays and quality time with friends and family to leaving school, anticipating exam results and embracing their first steps in to adulthood.
As parents we of course embrace these exciting changes, but it is also important to consider that when your child turns 16, and their educational circumstances change, it can affect your eligibility for some benefits.
If your child remains in approved training and education up to the age of 18, your benefits probably won’t be affected. However, if your child is leaving school at 16, they must do one of the following until they reach 18:
- stay in full-time education, for example at a college
- start an apprenticeship or traineeship
- spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training
If you aren’t sure how your child’s benefits might be affected, the following websites and services could help you find out more:
Your Child Benefit will stop on 31 August on or after your child’s 16th birthday, if they leave education or training. It will continue if they stay in approved education or training, but you must tell the Child Benefit Office. You will receive a letter in your child’s last year at school asking you to confirm their plans.
Child Tax Credit usually stops on 31 August, after your child turns 16, but can continue for young people under 20 in approved education, training or registered with a careers service.
It’s important to make sure that you get all the help that you’re entitled to. Citizens Advice provide information on benefits and tax credits if you are working or unemployed, sick or disabled, a parent, a young person, an older person or a veteran. They also provide information about council tax and housing costs, national insurance, payment of benefits and problems with benefits.
The Gingerbread charity offers advice and practical support for single parent families in England and Wales. You can use their online checker to find out what may change as your child passes some key milestones, such as leaving education, and what you need to do.
Benefit advice and support
Do$h+ offers support with managing your money, budgeting, maximising your income and providing you with information to help you, if your benefits have been affected and you are struggling with your finances. Please contact our Do$h inclusion officer 0300 456 2099 or email us to find out more. Do$h+ is currently providing support in Ealing.
If your benefits are affected and you are struggling to pay your rent, our income team are available to offer advice and support. Please contact your Income officer or speak directly to our contact centre on 0300 456 2009 or email us.