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Young People and benefits - Ill or disabled young people

If you are aged under 18 (or under 20 in some circumstances), there may be extra rules to meet to get benefits. If you cannot get benefits in your own right, someone else, such as a parent or guardian, may be able to claim amounts for you within the benefits they get.

Ill or disabled young people

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit

It is no longer possible to make new claims for Employment and Support Allowance.

Ill and disabled young people may be able to claim Universal Credit.

You will need to have a fit note saying that you can’t work. You will also have to have an assessment to decide if you have limited capability for work. 

You cannot usually get Universal Credit while you are studying unless you have limited capability for work and receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

You can carry on getting Employment and Support Allowance if you are already getting it and you carry on having limited capability for work and meeting the other qualifying conditions for the benefit. 

You cannot usually get Employment and Support Allowance if you are studying in relevant education or if you are a full-time student – see our Studying (aged 16+) section for more information.

Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment

From your 16th birthday, you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for yourself (instead of a parent/guardian claiming for you) if you have care and/or mobility needs. It can be paid on top of any other benefits you receive.


Updated: April 2019

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