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Claims by 16 and 17 year olds

Claiming Benefits for 16 and 17 Year Olds

Special benefit rates apply to 16 and 17 year olds. Whether the calculator produces the correct results will depend on your circumstances.

Single people, no children

In general means-tested out of work benefits are not available to single people aged under 18 who don't have children. However, they may be able to get Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit for a short amount of time if they are forced to live away from their parents or will find it very hard to live without benefits.

The calculator provides correct benefit rates for single 16 and 17 year olds claiming means-tested out-of-work benefits. Though note that to qualify for tax credits 16 and 17 year olds must have dependent children or be disabled.

Couples or those with dependent children

If both members of a couple are under 18 and they do not have children then in general means-tested out of work benefits are not available. If the claimant has dependent children or is pregnant then they may be able to claim Universal Credit, Income Support or, in some circumstances, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The calculator does NOT provide correct benefit rates for 16 and 17 year olds who are part of a couple or have dependent children, except for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and tax credits. In particular, the amounts generated for other benefits may be too high. For correct benefit rates you should use the table below. 

Benefit rates for 16 and 17 year olds in a couple or with children

Correct benefit rates for 2018/19 are below. Where rates are not provided then the calculator provides correct estimates.

Income Support and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • lone parent under 18: £57.90
  • couple, both under 18: £57.90
  • couple, both under 18 - higher rate if have dependent child: £87.50
  • couple, one under 18 and one under 25: £57.90
  • couple, one under 18 and one 25 or older: £73.10

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • lone parent under 18: £57.90
  • couple, both under 18: £57.90
  • couple, both under 18 - main phase: £73.10
  • couple, both under 18, with a child: £87.50
  • couple, both under 18, with a child - main phase: £114.85
  • couple, claimant under 25, partner under 18: £57.90
  • couple, claimant 25 or over, partner under 18: £73.10

Universal Credit claims from 16 and 17 year olds

The minimum age to claim Universal Credit is generally 18 but in some circumstances the minimum age is lowered to 16 where a person:

  1. has limited capability for work;
  2. is awaiting an assessment to determine whether they have limited capability for work and has a statement given by a registered medical practitioner which provides that the person is not fit for work;
  3. has regular and substantial caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person;
  4. is responsible for a child;
  5. is a member of a couple the other member of which is responsible for a child or a qualifying young person (but only where the other member meets all the basic conditions of UC entitlement);
  6. is pregnant, and it is 11 weeks or less before her expected week of confinement, or was pregnant and it is 15 weeks or less since the date of her confinement;
  7. is without parental support

A young person is without parental support if they are not being looked after by a local authority and they:

  • have no parent; or
  • can't live with their parents because they are estranged from them, there is a serious risk to their physical or mental health, or they would suffer significant harm if they lived with them; or
  • are living away from their parents, and neither parent is able to support them financially because the parent has a physical or mental impairment, is detained in custody pending trial or sentence upon conviction or under a sentence imposed by a court, or is prohibited from entering or re-entering Great Britain.

If you are a care leaver, 3, 6 and 7 do not apply.

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