Benefits for children when they turn 16?

Hi everyone,

Just wondered if anyone on here has had experience of when your disabled child is entitled to "their own benefits" and at what age?

I have looked on directgov but didn't get many answers :rolleyes:

When is the child classed as an "adult" for benefit qualification's? Is it 16 or 18 and what benefit's are they entitled to?

Also are the benefit's - if any -mean's tested?

Thank you:beer:


  • Waggle_DancerWaggle_Dancer Forumite
    252 Posts
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    When claiming DLA for instance, there are 2 claim packs, one for under 16s and one for over 16s so I think that answers your age-related question for that particular Benefit. A lot of the other Benefits are work related anyway and so wouldn't apply to a child under 16. Some Benefits would depend on whether the child was still in full-time education. Once they leave school and are of working age then all Benefits are means tested in some way or another (apart from DLA). Does the child attend a Special School? Perhaps they could give you some "transition" advice about the move from child to adult services.
  • Transition periods are complicated. For instance, if your child has left school they could claim any number of benefits in their own right, ie Income support, Job seekers allowance, Employment and support allowance if they qualifiy ie are looking for work/unable to work/other family income etc
    If your child is stil in school or Further Education on a 'qualifiying course' you can still get tax credits and Child benefit for them and they get pocket money and/or Educational Maitance Allowance for attending college.
    Then there is the aspect of managing their own affairs. By rights DLA etc can be claimed by them, but if they are not able to manage their affairs, SEN , Downs etc etc you can apply to be their appointee and claim the same but manage it for them.
    Which route you go down depends on your and their circumstances, best get some advice from the CAB on which would be best.
  • moyillamoyilla Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    Thank you for the replies. My daughter is 14 (but with a mental age of approx 6 months and a physical age of 7) and is severley disabled. She requires constant 24 hours care.

    She will never, unfortunately, be able to live on her own or manage her own affairs.

    I have been told that the transion period to adult services starts when she is 15, though adult services are non existant at present.

    She currently attends a special need's school, when she is well enough.

    Also in receipt of full DLA.

    I just thought someone on here might have had experience with benefits etc.
  • Hi there.
    I have had experience with the benefits system through learning about it through my social work degree and through family members involvement in the benefits system.
    A cousin of mine turned 16 last year, she has cerebal palsy, is permanently in a wheelchair and cannot walk, talk or eat by herself!
    She was entitled to dla all her life, but from her 16th birthday she was also entitled to incapacity benefit, because there is no way she can walk, she could also get income support that entitles her to free prescriptions, optical and dental treatment.
    She had to attend a work-based interview which could identify kinds of jobs she could do, but when they saw her, they immediately made their excuses and said the meeting was no longer necessary!
    Afew days later she received a letter from them saying she was entitled to the full amount of IB.

    Your daughter should also be getting dla at a high rate for the long-term!
    She can also employ someone through direct payments, wherein she arranges her own care. As you said she cannot manage her affairs, liaison/family support officers are available to work with you and your daughter in managing these direct payments, this could also give you a break once in a while.

    Hope that helped!!
  • moyillamoyilla Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    Your family member is very similar to my daughter. She has chronic epilepsy, is gastrostomy fed, has a stoma, cannot speak etc.

    She has been awarded DLA for life.

    Sadly, she will never be able to do anything - and I mean anything for herself.

    It gets me down sometimes as it scares me to think of what will happen to her when either myself or her daddy are not here anymore to look after her.

    I know some people will think I am silly as she's only 14 but reality bites sometimes and it's not good :(

    Thanks again for all the advice :T
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