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Young People and benefits - Young people in work

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.

Young people in work

If you are a young person and working, you might be able to claim Universal Credit if:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has decided you have limited capability for work, and you are earning less than £617.76/month, or the DWP has decided you have limited capability for work and you receive Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • You are earning less than £617.76 per month (or are earning any amount and get PIP or DLA) and have a sick note saying you are not fit for work.
  • You are receiving Carer's Allowance or you would be entitled to Carer’s Allowance but your earnings are too high, or
  • You or your partner are responsible for a child
  • You are an orphan and have no-one acting for you in place of your parents
  • You have left local authority care and live away from your parents or any person acting in their place (but see the special rules for care leavers)
  • You have to live away from your parents and any person acting in their place and either:
    • you are estranged from them or would be in danger if you lived with them
    • they cannot support you because they are in prison or unable to come to the UK
    • they are sick or have disabilities.

It is no longer possible to make new claims for Working Tax Credit (WTC). If you are a young person and are working, you may be able to carry on getting WTC if you:

  • work 16 hours or more a week, and
  • are on a low income, and
  • are responsible for a child, or
  • have a disability that puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job and be getting certain disability benefits (or did so before you started work).

If you're in a couple and you are responsible for a child, you usually have to work 24 hours a week between you, with one of you working at least 16 hours a week, to get WTC.

Updated: April 2021

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