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Financial support for 16 to 25 year olds

Financial support for education and accommodation are covered in the relevant sections. Your Personal Adviser will be able to offer information and advice and any agreed financial support will be in your Pathway Plan.

16 to 17 year olds

If you live in semi-independent accommodation and not with foster carers we will provide a subsistence payment. The allowance should cover your living expenses including food, clothing, toiletries, leisure activities and travel.

  • If you are in education, training or employment this subsistence is equivalent to Universal Credit.
  • If you are not in employment, education or training, your subsistence is equivalent to Job Seekers allowance.
  • The allowance will be paid direct into your bank account wherever possible.
  • The payments may be supervised by your Personal Adviser in some cases.
  • If you are in custody (prison) the subsistence payment will be suspended and reviewed or reinstated on release.

If you are facing a crisis or hardship speak to your Personal Adviser. They may be able to get discretionary funding for you in exceptional circumstances.

Your Personal Adviser will:

  • Provide a copy of your pathway plan (which you will have helped create), it will include a description of the financial support you will receive.
  • Provide advice on how to manage your money and create an individual budget plan. Which will help you to manage your money and not get into debt.
  • Review your pathway plan and adapt it to reflect your current circumstances.

If you are pregnant or already have a child, speak with your personal adviser. They can ensure you access all available sources of funding and support for you and your child.

Before the birth of the baby we can help you buy essential items. This could be through discretionary funding or through charitable organisations.

  • From 11 weeks before the baby is born you might be able to claim universal credits (income support). But if you or your partner is working then your entitlement will be affected. You might be entitled to maternity pay or allowances instead.
  • You will be able to claim child benefit once the baby is born. You will also be able to claim child tax credits. You may be entitled to working tax credits if you are employed.
  • You will be able to claim healthy start vouchers which can be used to buy fruit, vegetable, milk, formula milk. Pregnant women and children aged between one and four will receive one voucher each per week. Infants under 12 months old will receive two vouchers per week. They are also entitled to free vitamin supplements if you are claiming benefits.
  • A Sure Start maternity grant of £500 is available for your first child. The grant can be claimed from 11 weeks before the baby is due and before the baby is three months old. You will be eligible if you get universal credits (income support or JSA).

18 to 25 year olds

After your 18th birthday you will stop being financially supported by social care. This may mean claiming benefits to fund the cost of where you are living and to support yourself while you study or look for work. If you are facing a crisis or financial hardship speak to your Personal Adviser. They may able to get discretionary funding for you in exceptional circumstances.

Your Personal Adviser can help you to claim benefits. This will be around three weeks before your 18th birthday. You will be asked to sign a form allowing them to talk to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about your claim.

They can also help you get a National Insurance number or Home Office ID card. They will also help you to open a bank account into which your benefit can be paid. They may also attend your first job centre meeting.

  • You will be expected to create an account on gov.uk and manage your benefits claim online. For this you will need access to the internet either through a smart phone or computer. You can also access computers at the job centre or in libraries.
  • If you are in education you will need to get a letter from your school or college. This proves that you are a full time student.
  • You will also need a copy of your Tenancy Agreement or Staying Put agreement. You will need to take to your first Job Centre appointment.

For further information on universal credit, applying and what you may be able to claim view the gov.uk website. An independent benefits calculator can also help you see your entitlements.

If you are pregnant or already have a child, speak with your personal adviser. They can ensure you access all available sources of funding and support for you and your child.Before the birth of the baby we can help you buy essential items. This could be through discretionary funding or through charitable organisations.

  • You will be able to claim child benefit once the baby is born. You will also be able to claim child tax credits. You may be entitled to working tax credits if you are employed.
  • You will be able to claim healthy start vouchers which can be used to buy fruit, vegetable, milk, formula milk. Pregnant women and children aged between one and four will receive one voucher each per week. Infants under 12 months old will receive two vouchers per week. They are also entitled to free vitamin supplements if you are claiming benefits.
  • A Sure Start maternity grant of £500 is available for your first child. The grant can be claimed from 11 weeks before the baby is due and before the baby is three months old. You will be eligible if you get universal credits (income support or JSA).

Other financial support for 16 to 25 year olds

There are discounts, funding and opportunities you can get if you are in education work or training.

If you are looking to make personal or household purchases, please view the offers on the accommodation page.

Our Dedicated Adviser for the Local Offer is a registered referral agent for the Trussell Trust Foodbank network. This means we as a local authority can refer you to a food bank if you need temporary support for food. We can provide you with a virtual voucher or in some locations arrange a delivery. This is a temporary solution and is intended to only be used three times in a sixth-month period.

We have secured a Hardship Fund to be used as a one-off intervention to overcome any financial disadvantages you may encounter on your transition into independence from the Local Authority. These are of small amounts but may be able to help you to get a bus pass to start off a job while you wait for your wages, pay for a course or set of lessons, or remove some historic debt. There are particular criteria to hit to be able to access it, to find out if you are eligible, please speak to your Personal Adviser or Social Worker.

The NHS health costs scheme assists those who are on a low income to pay for the following services:

  • NHS prescriptions
  • NHS dental treatment
  • NHS sight tests
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Necessary costs of travel to receive NHS treatment under the care of a consultant or through a referral by a doctor or dentist.
  • NHS wigs and fabric supports.

Further information, eligibility and how to apply for the NHS Low income scheme. Or you can speak to your Personal Adviser.

The Local Authority will support you with a Passport and Provisional License and hold record of your Birth Certificate if you should need it.

We will provide a financial gift to you. You must be under 21 years old and living in semi-independent or independent accommodation. In some instances, the young person may receive a gift or vouchers. This will be equal monetary value of a cash payment. If you are in custody these payment will be suspended and then reviewed or reinstated on release.

Young people that receive a CICA payment will be assisted in seeking independent financial advice regarding the use of their award.