The UK government pays some young people (aged 16 or 17) if they are on a low income, unemployed and actively seeking work, disabled and those who are looking after children or an older person. Are you entitled to claim benefits as a young person in the UK?
How to Make a Claim
Applying for government aid can be rather intimidating. However, the process is not as complicated as you may think. Start off by calling your local Jobcentre Plus Office. An adviser will then be able to look into whether you are entitled to benefits and assist you in filling in a claim form. If you are 16 or 17 years of age, an adviser will call you back within 4 hours to discuss your financial situation.
It is important to provide as much information as you can about your personal situation and finances. The more information you are able to provide, the better equipped an adviser at Jobcentre Plus will be to advise you.
Low Income or Unemployed
Young people aged 16 or 17 who are on a low income may be entitled to financial assistance from the government. The amount you receive will depend on your personal circumstances.
Directgov states that if you are aged 16 or 17 and cannot work because you are a lone parent who must stay home to care for your children, registered disabled or you care for a disabled relative, you could be entitled to Income Support. Students do not normally qualify for Income Support, except under certain circumstances.
Jobseeker’s Allowance Entitlement
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is usually paid to people over 18 (except full-time students) who qualify for unemployment benefits while they are looking for work. However, 16 and 17-year-olds can receive Jobseeker’s Allowance in certain circumstances.
According to Directgov, those who are aged 16 or 17 can only receive Jobseeker’s Allowance benefits if they are estranged from their family and are suffering from severe financial hardship. You will need to attend an interview, where an adviser can establish whether you qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance because of family estrangement.
If you are aged 16 or 17 and believe you qualify for government benefits, contact your local Jobcentre Plus office. An adviser will look into your personal circumstances and let you know whether you are entitled to government benefits such as Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Benefits for young people