Different benefit rules apply depending on whether a young person is 16/17 years old, or 18 and older.
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.
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 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.
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:
Claimants whose benefits have been sanctioned can appeal against the decision.
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:
Failure to report changes in circumstances can lead to accusations of benefit fraud.