X

Member Sign-in

Exclusive service area for local authorities, bureaux and voluntary agencies.

Forgotten your username or password? e-mail us

National Homeless Advice Service

Welfare benefits

Different benefit rules apply depending on whether a young person is 16/17 years old, or 18 and older.



Benefits for 16 and 17 year olds

Most 16 and 17 year olds who have left home will be classed as ‘children in need’ and will be entitled to housing and/or financial support from their local authority’s social services department.

They will not usually be entitled to claim jobseekers allowance, housing benefit, universal credit or other benefits (although there are exceptions such as young parents and young people with disabilities). The cost of housing and everyday living will be met instead by the social services department.

Back to top


Benefits for young people aged 18+

Young people aged 18 years and older who are unemployed, available for work or working fewer than 16 hours per week may be entitled to Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and other benefits.

Check Gov.uk for the current JSA rate.

Applications

Applications can be made online or in person. Applicants must also attend an interview where an agreement or action plan is put in place which records what the claimant must do in order to receive JSA, including, for example, attending regular Jobsearch interviews. The applicant will also be advised of any specialist or educational help available to assist in looking for employment.

Gov.uk - Guide to benefits

Sanctions

JSA can be stopped for up to 26 weeks as a result of sanctions. There are fixed period sanctions, which can be for two, four or twenty six weeks, and sanctions of discretionary length which can be for anything between one and twenty six weeks. The type of sanction imposed depends on the reason for the sanction.

Sanctions are typically applied because a claimant:

  • refuses or fails to comply with any reasonable direction
  • refuses or fails to apply for or accept a place on an employment programme or training scheme without good cause
  • neglects a reasonable opportunity of a place on an employment programme or training scheme without good cause
  • through misconduct, loses a place on an employment programme or training scheme
  • fails to attend an employment programme or training scheme without good cause
  • voluntarily leaves an employment programme or training scheme without good cause.

Claimants whose benefits have been sanctioned can appeal against the decision.

Citizens advice - If your JSA has been stopped or been reduced

Changes in circumstances

Any changes in circumstances of the claimant and/or their partner must be declared to the benefits office as soon as possible.

Examples of changes include:

  • getting married
  • entering into a civil partnership or moving in with a partner
  • moving house
  • getting a new job, whatever number of hours are worked or pay is received
  • inheriting or unexpectedly coming into money
  • travelling or moving abroad.

Failure to report changes in circumstances can lead to accusations of benefit fraud.

Turn2Us - benefits information for advisers

Back to top

Sub Menu