Skip to main content

Money I am entitled to as a Care Leaver


1. Money 2. Money I am entitled to as a Care Leaver

Finance options will be discussed in your pathway plan well in advance of the date you are due to leave care.


2.Money available for 16 and 17 year old care leavers

If you are under the age of 18 and have been in care for longer than 13 weeks since your 14th birthday, then you are either an 'Eligible Child' or a 'Relevant Child' and the Local Authority are still technically your parents.  Therefore, they are responsible for looking after your welfare and not only your accommodation but also your finances.

 

Education

If you decide to stay in full-time further education and are 16-19 (college or sixth form), then you are entitled to the 16-19 Higher Education Bursary of up to £1,200.

The Local Authority will meet your transport costs when travelling to and from school/college.

 

Benefits

If you're 16-17 and you don't have parental support, for example you're estranged from your parents and you're not under local authority care (Homeless Young Person), then you're entitled to claim for Universal Credit.  Universal Credit is normally more applicable to people over the age of 18.  For more information, please see 18+ Benefits.

 

Leaving Care Maintenance Allowance

If you are a young person leaving care then you must be provided with a Leaving Care Maintenance Allowance, which is equivalent to the current Income Support/Jobseekers Allowance benefit.

 

Children's Services Help

If you are a 'Relevant Child' then Children's Services may help with the payment towards basic living.  Children's Services WILL take into account any work you do or savings you have in deciding what they pay you.  They must not give you less money than what you would receive if you were able to claim benefits. 

If you are an 'Eligible Child', you are a Looked After Child and Children's Services will pay for all the support you need.  This does not mean that you will get everything you want or that Children's Services will give you cash.  The money, however, may go directly to your carers. 

If you are a 'Qualifying Child' then Children's Services may be able to help you with money, but are not obliged to.  However, they do have to give you advice on how to get the support that you need.  You have the same rights as any other young person your age so you should apply for benefits.  If you receive extra money from Children's Services this WILL NOT be taken into account when working out your benefits.

 

Moving Into Your Own Home

Local Authority will provide you with a Leaving Care Grant to help you buy any essential things when moving into your own home.  This will be a maximum of £2,000, based on an assessment.

 

Junior ISA

For information on how to access your Junior ISA when you turn 18, if you have one, you should speak to your Social Worker.

 

Birthday and Christmas

The local authority will gift you with £20.00 for your birthday  (this will be £50 for your 21st birthday) and £50.00 for Christmas.

Perkbox

Perkbox is a service that gives people access to a wide range of special offers and discounts on a range of high street and internet shops. To get access please see your Leaving Care worker who will complete an authorisation from on your behalf. To see the full list of offers available see Perkbox.


Money available for 18+ Care Leavers

Once you turn 18 you will no longer be known as 'Eligible Child' or 'Relevant Child', but a 'Former Relevant Child' and the level of financial support you receive will change.

 

Education

If you are 16-19 years old, then you are entitled to a bursary of up to £1,200.  As a 'Former Relevant Child', if you decide to go into Higher Education (University) you will be entitled to a £2,000 bursary over the length of the course paid in £500 chunks.  You can then receive £3,000 per year towards tuition fees. 

If you are studying away from home and move back from university during the holidays then Children's Services will provide accommodation during the holidays.

 

Benefits

Once you turn 18 Children's Services do not have to pay for your ordinary living expenses and you are entitled to claim benefits like any other person who is over 18.  How much benefit you receive will depend on any income you may coming in - this is called 'means testing'.  This is something you should discuss with your Social Worker or Leaving Care Worker when you review your Pathway Plan before you leave care.  If you are entitled to claim benefits, these may be the following: 

Universal Credit is being brought in by the government to combine the benefits into one payment.  If you claim any of these benefits, the DWP will inform you when you are changing to Universal Credit.  ALWAYS RESPOND TO EMAILS, PHONE CALLS, TEXTS OR LETTERS FROM THE DWP.

If you receive money from Children's Services, this WILL NOT be taken into account when working out your benefits.

 

Junior ISA

Once you turn 18, you are entitled to claim the money from your Junior ISA (if you have one).  To do this, you will need to speak to your Social Worker or Leaving Care Worker.]

Perkbox

Perkbox is a service that gives people access to a wide range of special offers and discounts on a range of high street and internet shops. To get access please see your Leaving Care worker who will complete an authorisation from on your behalf. To see the full list of offers available see Perkbox.


< Previous

Money

 

 

Back to top