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Young People and Benefits - Young people in education

If you are aged under 18, there may be extra rules to meet to get benefits

Young people in education

Advanced education

If you are attending a course of advanced education, see our Studying (aged 16+) section for information about the rules relating to benefits while studying.

Relevant education

Most young people who are in relevant education (this is non-advanced education) cannot claim benefits. However, you may be able to claim Universal Credit if your income is low enough and you:

  • Have a child for whom you receive Child Benefit

  • 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.

If you cannot claim benefits for yourself while you are in relevant education because you do not fall into one of the groups described above, your parents/guardian may be able to continue getting benefits for you as their child.

In some limited situations, you may have entitlement to benefits in your own right and your parent/guardian may also have entitlement to benefits such as Child Benefit for you at the same time. What you claim can have an effect on the benefits that your parent/guardian can claim.

For example, Maria claims Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit for her daughter Louise, who is aged 16 and in relevant education. Louise gives birth to a son, Charlie. If Louise claims Child Benefit and Universal Credit for Charlie, Maria would lose her entitlement to Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit for Louise.

If you are in this situation, you should seek advice about what would be the best choice from a local benefits adviser. You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find a local one.

Updated: April 2022

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