Once a Young Person turns 16 the benefits that you and they will need to apply for may change. In addition your child can begin to claim benefits in their own right, which will affect any benefits you receive for them as a dependant.
Below are some of the changes which you will need to be aware of:
Moving From DLA to PIP– Children who have been claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will be reassessed for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) when they reach 16, even if their DLA award was not due to run out. The DWP should contact you when your child is nearly 16 to arrange the transfer. For more information please see Personal Independence Payments (PIP) below.
Child Benefits and Child Tax Credits- These benefits usually stop once a child reaches 16 however if they remain in full time Education (non-advanced courses only) these can be continued up until their 19th or 20th birthday (if they are enrolled on a course before they turn 19). Tax Credits are transferring over to Universal Credit and no new claims for Tax Credit can be made.
Other Benefit Related Considerations:
You may need to decide whether it is best for your child to claim benefits in their own name or for you to continue to claim for them as a dependant. If your family income is high and you don’t qualify for any Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit – or you only receive a small amount – there is a good chance your household will be better off if your child was to claim benefits in their own right at 16. If, however your family receives higher Tax Credit or Universal Credit Payments, continuing to receive benefits for them as a dependant may work out to be a better option.
In addition to loosing Child Benefit and Tax Credit/Universal Credit payments, you may also see a reduction in help with Housing Benefit and Council Tax if your child receives benefits in their own right.
All income-based Benefits including ESA, PIP (excluding the Mobility component) and Income Support, which are paid to the young person will be included in the Social Care Financial Assessment. This Assessment is a ‘means test’ which Social Services use to work out what, if any, contributions a person over the age of 18 should make towards the cost of their care via their Needs Assessment.
The Tax Credits Office makes the assumption that young people will leave Education in the summer after their 16th birthday. They will therefore automatically stop any payments from the September after they turn 16 unless you contact them to let them know that your child will continue in Education.
If you need support working out what Benefits you or your young person are entitled to the Citizens Advice Bureau can support, you with this.
If you need further information regarding financial support, please contact Samantha Peters on 0208 962 9917/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are payments, provided to Students in Higher Education who have a Disability or Specific Learning Difficulty, to cover the cost of extra expenses which may be incurred whilst studying due to their additional needs.
There are four allowances which cover different areas of need
- Specialist equipment allowance
- Non-medical helper’s allowance
- General and other expenditure allowance
- Travel costs.
DSAs are not paid in set amounts as they depend on what the young person needs. Payments are intended to cover the cost of specific items of equipment, specific support worker costs, and so on.
To apply for DSAs contact Student Finance England. DSAs can be applied for at the same time as making an online UCAS application. For NHS-funded courses, the application for DSAs would be sent to NHS Student Bursaries.
For more information click here
In April 2013 Personal Independence Payments (PIP) replaced Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16-64 who have a Health Condition or Disability. PIP can help with extra living costs if you have both:
- a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
- difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition
The payments are based on an Assessment of Individual Needs and looks at the impact that a condition has on a person’s daily life, not the condition itself. They will look at:
- whether you can do it safely
- how long it takes you
- how often your condition affects this activity
- whether you need help to do it, from a person or using extra equipment
PIP is made up of two parts:
- Daily Living – if you need help with everyday tasks, for example, eating/preparing food, washing, dressing, communicating, managing medication/treatment, help with money, socialising
- Mobility – if you need help with getting around, for example, working out routes and following them, physically moving around, leaving your home
A person may qualify for either one or both of these parts for which they can receive a Standard or Enhanced Rate.
Transferring from DLA to PIP at 16
Young people who receive DLA will need to be reassessed under PIP when they turn 16, even if their DLA award was not due to run out at this point. The only exceptions to this are:
- If a young person is claiming DLA under the special rules for the terminally ill.
- If a young person is in hospital as an in-patient on the date they would be asked to claim PIP. In this situation the young person’s DLA payments will be extended until they are discharged from hospital.
Before your child turns 16, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will contact you, as their parent, to let you know how to claim PIP and to find out whether your child will need an Appointee. An Appointee is a person, usually a parent or carer, who is responsible for making the claims on their behalf. Shortly after your child turns 16, the DWP will then send another letter to your child (or to you if you have been made their appointee) inviting them to make a claim for PIP.
DLA payments will continue until a decision has been reached on a PIP claim. However if a person fails to make a claim for PIP, when they are invited to do so, their DLA will be stopped.
Effects on other Benefits and Entitlements
PIP is not means tested or based on National Insurance Contributions. You can get PIP even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.
Those who receive an Enhanced Rate Mobility Component may be able to make use of the Motability scheme.
In addition, carers of those who receive the Daily Living Component may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance.
Being in receipt of PIP and Universal Credit or ESA may also entitle a young person to Educational Bursaries if they wish to stay on in Education.
For more information on Personal Independence Payments click here.
Spare Bedroom Tax
The Spare Bedroom Tax was introduced in April 2013. This means that tenants of working age (under the state pension credit age) in social housing who are ‘under-occupying’ property, i.e. living in something that the government has decided is too large for their needs, will have their housing benefit reduced.
The rules will restrict Housing Benefit to allow for one bedroom for:
- A couple – however from 1st April 2017 if a couple is unable to share a bedroom due to health reasons then both members of the couple should be allowed their own bedroom.
- A person over 16
- Two children of the same sex under 16
- Two children of any sex who are under 10
- Any other child (other than a foster child or child whose main home is elsewhere)
- A disabled child who is in receipt of the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), where the local authority decision maker is satisfied that the child cannot reasonably share a bedroom with another sibling (see below for further details)
- A non-resident carer (or group of carers) providing overnight care to the tenant their partner a child or other non-dependant adult, where this is considered to be required’
- An adult child who is in the Armed Forces, including the Reserve Forces, but who continues to live with parents (note: they are treated as continuing to live at home, even when deployed on operations)
- Approved foster carers (and formal kinship carers in Scotland) so long as they have fostered a child, or become an approved foster carer in the last 12 months
How much will Housing Benefit be restricted by?
Where households are seen to be under-occupying because they have ‘spare’ bedrooms according to the rules, they will see a reduction in their Housing Benefit. Their ‘eligible rent’ (the figure used to calculate Housing Benefit) will be reduced by:
- 14% for one extra bedroom
- 25% for two or more extra bedrooms
However there are some important exceptions in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea:
- A disabled child in receipt of the middle or high rate component of DLA – Those whose children are said to be unable to share a bedroom because of severe disabilities will be able to claim Housing Benefit for an extra room. Local Authorities will then have to assess the individual circumstances of the claimant and their family and decide whether their disabilities are genuinely such that it is inappropriate for the children to be expected to share a room. This will involve considering not only the nature and severity of the disability but also the nature and frequency of care required during the night, and the extent and regularity of the disturbance to the sleep of the child who would normally be required to share the bedroom. In all cases this will come down to a matter of judgment of the facts. For the official government guidance: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/u2-2013.pdf
- Medical Equipment – We have been advised by the RBKC Housing Team that a spare bedroom can also be exempt from the spare bedroom tax if it is the only place where necessary medical equipment can be stored. However, you must be able to prove that this room has ONLY been used for medical equipment for a long period of time and will not be used as a bedroom in the future.
Discretionary Housing Payments
In some cases, if the main claimant is unable to afford their rent due to a reduction in benefits, they can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment. If the application is accepted, the council will pay the shortfall between their rent and their benefits. For more information you can call the RBKC Benefits Service on 020 7361 3006.
Disabled Facilities Grant
A Disabled Facilities Grant is a local council grant to help towards the cost of essential adaptations to your home to enable your disabled child/adult to continue to live there.
For further information contact the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea housing department:
Address: Housing Needs, Housing Department, Hornton Street, W8 7NX.
Housing line: 0207 361 3008
Council Tax Reduction
Since April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was no longer available to claim, instead you can apply for Council Tax Reduction. You’ll get money off your Council Tax bill and you can apply for this if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.
What you’ll get
The most you can get is a 100% reduction. How much you get depends on:
- where you live – each council runs their own scheme
- your circumstances (eg income, number of children)
- your household income – this includes things like savings, pension, your partner’s income
- if your children live with you
- if other adults live with you
You may get Council Tax Reduction if:
- you pay Council Tax
- you’re on a low income or claiming benefits
How to apply
Contact the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Benefits Service on 0207 361 3006
Television License Discount
Aged 74 and over You’re entitled to a free over 75 TV Licence when you turn 75. If you’re 74, you can apply for a short-term licence to cover you up to your 75th birthday.
Care home residents Residents may qualify for a discounted TV Licence fee of £7.50. Residents, staff and residents’ families all need a separate licence for their own living area.
Registered as blind You’re entitled to a 50% reduction in your TV Licence fee if you’re certified as blind (severely sight impaired).
For more information please see the TV Licensing website www.tvlicensing.co.uk
Tax credits are payments from the government. If you’re responsible for at least one child (under the age of 16) or young person (under the age of 20 in education/training) who normally lives with you, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. If you work, but earn low wages, you may qualify for Working Tax Credit.
Who can get tax credits?
Nine out of ten families with children get tax credits, but you don’t need to have children to qualify. You may also qualify if you are working and earning a low wage.
How much do you get?
The amount of tax credits you get depends on the following:
- How many children you have living with you
- Whether you work and how many hours you work
- Your income
- If you pay for childcare
- If you or any child living with you has a disability
- If you’re aged 50 plus and are coming off benefits
How tax credits work
If you’re married or living with a partner you’ll need to make a joint claim for tax credits. You can only make a single claim if you don’t have a partner.
The Tax Credit Office pay tax credits directly into your bank, building society, Post Office account or National Savings account if it accepts Direct Payment either weekly or every four weeks.
Who will receive the payments?
If you’re both working and you both qualify for Working Tax Credit, you can decide who’ll get the payments. If you’re claiming Child Tax Credit as a couple you need to decide which one of you is the children’s main carer. If you’re the main carer then the money will be paid to you.
Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 or textphone 0345 300 3909
Local support payments are emergency funds provided by the Local Authority due to an emergency or crisis or to help remain or settle into a community. This is part of a national government initiative to hand over the responsibility of crisis loans to Local Authorities and organisations.
The payments are not usually in the form of money but instead are good quality, second hand furniture or white goods (for example, refrigerators or washing machines) or store vouchers.
To claim you have to show you have limited savings and be receiving one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Incapacity Benefit
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance, maximum Universal Credit (where the latest award has not been reduced by earnings or other income).
Following an assessment, a person with a disability will be awarded a Personal Budget. This is an indicative amount of money, which is given by the Local Authority (and other funding streams), to meet the individual’s identified care and support needs. It can be received in two ways:
Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ)
A Self-Assessment Questionnaire is an assessment used to determine the minimum amount of money that is required to provide services to meet the needs of your young person. This is a simple tick box form which you can either complete yourself or with a social worker.
It is essential that you specifically request to complete these assessments one to one with your social worker. This means that it is more likely that the Care Plan better reflects and quantifies your needs and your young person’s needs.
The SAQ is not a statutory requirement, which means that you can choose whether or not you wish to complete it.
How you can receive your services:
Personal Budget: is an indicative amount of funding given to people with disabilities, after an assessment called the Personal Budget Assessment, which should be sufficient to meet their assessed needs. You can choose how you would like to receive the Personal Budget.
Receiving the Personal Budget as a Direct Payment: One option is Direct payments, where you receive the money directly to pay for services yourself. Direct payments confer responsibilities on the recipient to decide how their child’s needs are met, either by employing people, often known as personal assistants, or by commissioning services. This can offer greater choice and flexibility and you and your social worker will work together to choose appropriate services to meet the needs of your child. Receiving a personal budget in the form of a Direct Payment means that you manage the spending and have to ensure that you do not over spend this budget or use money in ways which are not in line with the guidelines as this can result in you having to pay the money back. You must also keep all receipts and records of your expenditure of the Personal Budget as all public money must be accounted for.
Alternative to receiving a Personal Budget as a Direct Payment:
If you decide you do not want to receive the money directly to pay for services to meet your child’s needs, the Disabled Children’s Team can manage both the money and the type of services that will be used to meet the needs of your child. This should be done in line with your wishes.
Continuing Healthcare: If the primary needs of your child are health related then the services will either be fully or partly provided by The Department of Health. For further information please Click here.
It is important to note that The Personal Budget is OPTIONAL, as it is not a statutory requirement. However, the Personal Budget is generally used in practice by the Disabled Children’s Team. If you decide against the Personal Budget, the Local Authority will make sure that your child will continue to receive services as dictated by their needs assessment and care plan.
Universal Credit is a monthly payment for people who are on low income or are out of work.
It’s being rolled out in stages across the UK and is replacing all means tested benefits including Employment Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credit.
How much you can receive depends on your circumstances, including your income and how many children you have.
Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit to help people who look after someone who is disabled. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person that you care for. However you must report any change in your circumstances if you’re claiming or have applied for Carer’s Allowance, such as getting a job or taking a break from caring.
Who can receive Carer’s Allowance?
You may be able to receive Carer’s Allowance if you are aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a person who gets either:
- Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
- Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
To claim you must be over 16, and the following must apply:
- you’re 16 or over
- you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
- you’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this doesn’t apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
- you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces
- you’re not in full-time education
- you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
- you earn no more than £116 a week after tax and some expenses – these will be assessed when you apply
- you’re not subject to immigration control
Carers who are themselves disabled can claim. You can only get one award for Carer’s Allowance even if you care for more than one person.
For more information please click here.
This is a Benefit to support people over 16 years of age who have an illness or disability that makes it difficult for them to work. In order to make an application a Young Person would have to provide a Medical Certificate from their GP. They are also likely to have to go through a ‘Work Capability Assessment’ within the first few months of claiming in order to ensure that they have a long term limited ability to work (Unless they are a student with disabilities).
There are two types of ESA that can be awarded, Contribution-Based and Income-Related. Most young people applying for this Benefit will not have made enough National Insurance Contributions to claim Contribution-Based ESA and so will likely receive Income-Related. Income-Related ESA depends on the money you have coming in and your savings and is usually not paid to young people in school or in full-time advanced education. However, if your Young Person is in Education and is in receipt of Personal Independence Payments (or DLA) they may still be able to claim.
Effects on other Benefits and Entitlements
If your son/daughter claims ESA whilst still in Education (or if you claim for them), other Benefits that you may be claiming including Child Benefit and/or Income-Related
Benefits (like Income Support, Housing Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance and Child Tax Credit) may be affected.
If your son/ daughter is aged 18 or over and getting residential or community care services through the Local Authority’s Adult Social Care Team, getting ESA or Universal Credit could lead to them being asked to pay some charges towards those services.