For families of children and young people with SEN and disabilities helpline 01273 772289

benefits changes at 16 and over

Most parent carers are used to claiming benefits like DLA to help meet some of the additional costs of caring for their disabled children. But as your child reaches 16, and when circumstances change – for example your child leaves education or begins to claim their own benefits – there can be a knock-on effect on your whole family's income.


Half our household income comes from money because of James’ special needs. He’s already decided he’s leaving home when he leaves college so if I don’t start planning for my future, I might end up destitute!

The ‘Money matters’ chapter in our Through the Next Maze 2014’ handbook looks at the benefits you and your child might be getting now, what changes as your child reaches 16 and as PIP is introduced, and what we think will change again as households are moved to the new system of Universal Credits. It also tells you about other sources of help like Motability, Direct Payments and grants.

Download Through the Next Maze 2016 – Chapter 5 – Money matters [pdf 223kb]

This chapter should give you a broad understanding of changes to benefits when your child turns 16 and after, but if you need more in depth advice about your specific family circumstances, call our helpline on 01273 772289.

You can also contact the Money Advice and Community Support Service (MACS) or the Fed for advice about entitlements to benefits or to get support with making claims. Or you could get one of the ‘under 18’ advisers at Brighton Jobcentre Plus to do a ‘better off calculation’ for you to help you understand how the benefits your child claims might affect yours. Call them on 01273 647400.

I reminded Alex about last month when he’d raided his savings and spent £80 in an hour on the pier buying rides and fish and chips for ‘friends’. And how angry he had been that he couldn’t get the trainers he’d been saving for. We all agreed it’s best that I manage his DLA for another few years.

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