What Benefits Are There For 16-Year Olds In Full-Time Education?

Being able to claim benefits requires the applicant to meet the basic eligibility criteria; which can easily change with a change in one’s circumstances. Through the discussion in this article, we aim to learn about the state benefits that 16-year-olds in full-time education in the UK can claim on their own. We will assess the key benefits as well as the eligibility criteria for some of them; as well as explore the impact of one’s form of education and working status on the benefits they claim. 

What Benefits Are There For 16-Year Olds In Full-Time Education?

In certain cases, once individuals are over 16 years old, they can start claiming their Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments directly; while other benefits will still be claimed by their parents.

For instance, if you are a 16-year-old in a full-time, non-advanced course or approved training, you may not be able to claim Universal Credit. However, if you are in the same situation but without parental support (whether it is due to being an orphan or being estranged from your parents), you will be able to claim the benefit. 

Additionally, some 16-19 years olds in England may claim maintenance support in the form of a Bursary Fund. If you are a young person claiming DLA or PIP; as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit, you will be able to get 1,200 pounds annually as a Bursary Fund. however, you would need to prove that you are enrolled in an approved course.

DLA is currently being replaced with Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If you are above 16 years of age and below the state pension age, you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment for a disability such as dyslexia. 

Meanwhile, 16-19-year-olds in Scotland, Ireland and Wales can claim Education Maintenance Allowance to meet their expenses.

If someone is 16 or 17 years of age, expecting a child or already has one (or more), they may additionally be able to claim Income Support.

Can A 16 Year Old Claim Universal Credit?

Yes, a 16-year-old can claim Universal Credit if they can fulfil the below eligibility criteria:

  • aged between 18 (in some cases it may be 16 or 17) and state pension age
  • unemployed or on low income
  • between the claimant and their partner, total savings are less than £6,000
  • experiencing high costs for childcare
  • suffering from a disability or health condition
  • caring for someone else

The amount of Universal Credit that an individual receives depends on their circumstances and income (if any). For instance, someone who is single and younger than 25 years of age will be eligible for Universal Credit amounting to around £257 per month. Meanwhile, this amount will rise to around £509 for someone who is living with a partner and either one of them or both of them are above the age of 25.

Can A 16 Year Old Claim Housing Benefit?

Yes, you can claim Housing Benefit (or the housing element of Universal Credit) if you are a 16-year-old part-time student. However, 16-year-old full-time students usually don’t qualify for Housing Benefit unless they meet any of the below-listed conditions:

  • You are claiming state benefits such as Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (Income Based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related).
  • You are younger than under 21 years, currently in further education but you got enrolled you were 19 years old
  • You are younger than 20 years of age and your parent claims Child Benefit
  • You are a student couple who is responsible for a child
  • You live with a partner who is not a student and claims Housing Benefit 
  • You are a lone parent who is responsible for a child
  • You take care of foster children
  • You qualify for the disability premium/severe disability premium
  • You are incapable of work as per the DWP and have been for at least 28 weeks
  • You get the Disabled Student Grant with an allowance for deafness
  • You have not been able to claim a grant or student loan due to absence from studies because of illness or caring for someone else

Can a 16-Year-Old Get Disability Benefits?

Yes, you can get Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) for Dyslexia in the UK if you fall under any of the following categories:

  • studying a full-time or part-time course that lasts for a minimum of 12 months
  • an undergraduate or postgraduate student (this includes distance learning or Open University)
  • eligible for student finance from Student Finance England

The Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) applies to students who face difficulty in studying due to the following conditions:

  • learning difficulty; this includes dyslexia, dyspraxia, or ADHD
  • mental health conditions including anxiety or depression
  • physical disabilities such as partial sightedness or use of crutches
  • prolonged health conditions, such as cancer, chronic heart disease, or HIV

Can A Part-Time Job Affect Benefits?

Yes, if you start working part-time or get enrolled in an apprenticeship program and leave education at the age of 16 or 17 years to start working or training for work, you will lose the benefits you claim. Alternatively, your parents will no longer be able to claim benefits that are intended for you.

As a general rule, if a 16-year-old is not in full-time education or apprenticeship, their parents will lose claim of the following benefits: 

  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Additional amounts received with Universal Credit, Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Additional amounts are received due to the assessment of Housing Benefit and Council Tax support.

However, in the case of Housing Benefit claims, the additional income from your earnings is likely to reduce the amount that you or your parents receive each month.

Can An Apprenticeship Affect Benefits?

No, an apprenticeship will not affect your benefits as an apprenticeship counts as full-time education if you can work for at least 30 hours per week. 

For instance, if you are in a recognised apprenticeship, you can continue claiming Universal Credit. Similarly, if you are on an apprenticeship, your income will not be considered for a means test and your Housing Benefit will not decrease.

However, if someone is in an apprenticeship program, they will not be able to claim Jobseekers Allowance or Personal Independence Payments.

Can An Open University Affect Benefits?

No, an open university course does not affect benefits. If you are a student at an open university, you will be considered a part-time student. This will remain applicable even if you spend full-time study hours for your open university course. Therefore, any benefits that you or your parents claim will not be affected as a result of your status as an open university student.

However, if you are an open university student who has applied for student finance, in that case, your benefits can be affected. The reason for this is that the monetary support that you receive on your academic fee as a result of student finance can potentially be taken as an income and due to this fact, the amount that your claim regarding your benefits claim can be reduced.


The above discussion has clarified the various real-life situations that can qualify or disqualify a 16-year-old in full-time education for their ability to claim benefits. To summarise, one can state that depending on their circumstances, 16-year-olds in full-time education can claim Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payments as well as financial support through a Bursary Fund or Education Maintenance Allowance in the UK.

FAQs: What Benefits Are There For 16-Year Olds In Full-Time Education?

Can you claim PIP and go to university?

Yes, you can claim PIP and go to university; whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a state benefit intended towards providing support to members of the community who are unable to meet their living costs due to a physical or mental condition or a disability that prevents them from performing everyday tasks,

At what age can you get Universal Credit?

You can claim eligibility for Universal Credit at the age of 18 years. However, if you are 16 or 17 years old and fall under certain specific situations, you may still be able to claim Universal Credit. 

Is an apprenticeship considered full-time education for universal credit?

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, if an apprentice can provide a named training provider, they are working towards a recognised qualification or vocational training and are entitled to the national minimum wage, they can claim Universal Credit.

Does a child working affect Housing Benefit?

If your child of 16 or 17 years of age starts working, their income will not affect the housing benefit claim that you receive. Once they are adults, their incomes may be taken into consideration for a means test and your claim will only be affected if your household income is above a certain threshold.

At what age does Child Tax Credit stop?

Child Tax Credit applies to families with children younger than or above 17 years of age. Once a child turns 18 and becomes an adult, payments concerning Child Tax Credit are automatically stopped by the DWP.


16-19-year-olds in education or training – Entitled

Benefits at 16 | Contact

Full-time students and other benefits – Turn2us

Support for those aged 16 to 19 – Benefits you may be able to claim