Parents are expected to inform the DWP when there is a change in their circumstances that can affect their benefits claim. Through this blog post, we aim to discuss whether your benefits claim will be affected if your 17-year-old child starts working. We will also review which benefits will be affected as a result and what their impact will be. 

Will My 17-Year-Old Working Affect My Benefits?

While in some cases once your 17-year-old child starts working your benefits will not be affected as they are still considered to be your dependant; however, certain benefits that you claim will be affected under the following conditions:

  • Universal Credit: if you are a Universal Credit claimant and your child starts working at 17 years of age, your benefits claim can be affected if they are in an apprenticeship program which is not approved or their income is enough to make you ineligible for Universal Credit. 
  • Child Benefits: if you were receiving Child Benefits payments on behalf of your child and they start working; these payments may stop once your child starts working at 17 as their earnings (even if they are from an apprenticeship or part-time job) will now be counted as household income.

Other benefits that parents may stop getting as a result of their 17-year-old child working include the following:

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

How Will My Benefits Be Affected If My 17-Year-Old Starts Working?

First of all, parents are advised to inform the HMRC once their child starts working.  In such cases, unless the claimant has a long-term health condition or a disability; once the youngest child turns 16 or 17 and starts working, they may no longer be able to claim Working Tax Credit. 

In the case of Housing Benefits claims, the additional income from your child’s earnings is likely to reduce the amount that you receive each month.

In the case of Child Tax Credit, you may still be able to claim benefits if your child is considered to be a Qualifying Person by the DWP. Since their decision varies across individuals, it depends on your circumstances whether or not you will continue receiving Child Tax Credit once your 17-year-old starts working.

However, if you were receiving Personal Independence payments on behalf of your child, they may be able to claim them on their own through the DWP once they turn 16 or 17.

Can I Claim Universal Credit For My 17-Year-Old?

Yes, under specific circumstances, you can claim Universal Credit for your 17-year-old. These include the following:

  • unemployed or on low income
  • between the claimant and their partner, total savings are less than £6,000
  • suffering from a disability or health condition
  • caring for someone else

The amount of Universal Credit that an individual receives depends on their personal 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.

However, being 17 years old, your child can apply for Universal Credit on their own now as well.

Can A 17-Year-Old Claim Benefits On Their Own?

Yes, 17-year-olds can claim benefits on their own under certain situations. For instance, you may be able to claim Universal Credit if you are a 17-year-old living at home, with your parents in the UK. However, the fact that you live with your parents may reduce the monetary amount of your benefits claim. Additionally, if you are in full-time education, apprenticeship or training, you may not qualify for Universal Credit.

You can also claim Personal Independence Payments if you are 17 years old but in this case, the claimant should have a long-term disability, physical or mental condition and finds it difficult to perform everyday tasks due to this condition. Additionally, they should expect these difficulties for a period of at least one year.

17-year-olds can also claim Job Seekers’ Allowance if they are facing financial hardship and are not living with their parents. Additionally, they must be unemployed or working for less than 16 hours per week, currently not in full-time education and do not have an illness or disability that prevents being employed.

Can 17-Year-Olds Living At Home Claim Benefits?

Yes, 17-year-olds living at home can claim certain benefits. You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you are a 17-year-old living at home, with your parents in the UK. However, the fact that you live with your parents may reduce the monetary amount of your benefits claim. Additionally, if you are in full-time education, apprenticeship or training, you may not qualify for Universal Credit.

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.

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.

Conclusion:

The above discussion makes it quite clear that when your 17-year-old starts working some of your benefits will be affected. Despite this, it is your responsibility to inform the DWP when there is a change in circumstances that affects your benefits claim.

FAQs: Will My 17-Year-Old Working Affect My Benefits?

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.

Will my son’s apprenticeship affect my housing benefit?

Yes, if your son is expected to earn during the period of his apprenticeship, due to the increase in your household income, your housing benefit claim will be reduced.

Will living with someone affect my benefits?

If you live with someone as a partner, both your income and savings will be considered as combined earnings during a means assessment. Due to this, the means-tested benefits that either of you were claiming individually will reduce. Similarly, if you were on a single occupancy council tax rate, you will lose that discount if you share your home with anyone and so would they.

Can you get Universal Credit if you live with your parents?

Yes, you can get Universal Credit if you live with your parents. In fact, when someone is 16 years old, they start receiving their UC payments directly. However, if you live with your parents, you may find a reduced amount of the housing element in your benefits claim as you are sharing your house with other family members.

At what age does Child Tax Credit stop?

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

References:

Claims by 16 and 17-year-olds

Children between 16 and 20

Claims by 16 and 17-year-olds

Check if a change affects your Child Benefit – Citizens Advice

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