Financial support for young adults

Once you turn 16 you may be able to claim benefits and allowances in your own right. Below are some useful links to find out more about different allowances, the application processes and if you are eligible for them.


If you feel unable to manage your benefits someone can become an appointee on your behalf. The appointee can apply to deal with your benefits for you if you are struggling with it. They can be a friend or relative, or an organisation like a solicitors or your local council.

Find out more about becoming an appointee.

Financial support for Further Education, Training and Employment

The 16-19 Bursary Fund is a Government bursary that can help you with educational costs such as travel, books, meals or clothing if you are studying at a school or college or on a training course (including unpaid work experience). If you have an EHC plan you may be eligible for the bursary if you are over the age of 19.

Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is an allowance provided by the government which offers help if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. The ‘New Style’ ESA has replaced the ‘contribution-based’ ESA. You can find out more about whether you are eligible on the Government website.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). It may be possible for people studying a further education course to get additional money to support their studies through the Disabled Students’ Allowance depending on circumstances. Healthcare and social work students may be eligible for a bursary through the NHS Disabled Students’ Allowance. See NHS Student Bursaries for more information.

Access to work, provides support and could include money, known as a grant, which you don’t have to pay back. It helps people who have a disability or long-term health condition to do their job.

Financial support for Higher Education

There are a number of websites with advice for students and their parents/carers concerning Student Finance.

For a comprehensive overview of the process, eligibility for students and how to apply, visit the government's Student Finance website.

The Student Room also explains the process students go through if they are eligible or if they are not.

Complete University Guide - for students who want to have some advice and tips on how they can budget and manage their finances.

Childcare Grant - extra financial help may be available for students who use registered childcare for their children. You must be eligible for student finance to access this grant.

Financial support for Health Needs

A personal health budget is an amount of money granted by your local NHS team to help with your health and wellbeing needs.

Financial support for Independent Living

Universal Credit

If you have a health condition or disability you might be eligible for extra universal credit.

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit that has replaced 6 ‘legacy’ benefits:

  • Income-related ESA
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support.

With very few exceptions, no new claims can now be made for the 6 legacy benefits.

Check whether you are eligible for Universal Credit.

Please note: Claims for contribution based JSA and ESA (based on National Insurance contributions) can still be made.

Other financial support available

Working Tax Credit is a government benefit that helps those on lower incomes. You can only make a claim for Working Tax Credit if you already get Child Tax Credit. If you cannot apply for Working Tax Credit, you can apply for Universal Credit instead.

A personal budget is made up of resources that can be used flexibly to support you with your education, health or care needs.

Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) can help you with extra costs if you have a long-term disability or illness.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA). You can only apply for a DLA if you are under the age of 16. If you are over the age of 16 you can apply for a PIP (see above).

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit and you can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing or if you’ve reached State Pension age. You can find out more information about additional help with housing costs on the Government website.

Council Tax Reduction Benefit can still be claimed by those on low incomes or means tested benefits.

Some people do not have to pay Council Tax. You can find out more about Council Tax Exemptions on the Government website.