Benefits for young people aged 16 years or over

Benefits for young people aged 16 years or over

Benefits you can apply for if you’re 16 or over and how to claim them

Benefits and financial support you could get are:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if you’re under 16 
  • Disabled Students Allowance if you’re over 16
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you’re over 16
  • Universal Credit if you’re 18 or over
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)  if you are over 18 and your illness or disability affects how much you can work

If you have a carer they could get:

  • Carers Allowance if they care for you at least 35 hours a week and you get certain benefits
  • Carers Credit if they care for you at least 20 hours a week

Disabled Students’ Allowance

If you’re over 16 and in education, you can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to help you with day to day costs.

This does not affect your student finance, which is money you may be able to borrow to help pay for university or college fees and to help with living costs. 

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSAs) if you live in England and have a disability that affects your ability to study.

This may be a:

  • learning difficulty, for example dyslexia or ADHD
  • mental health condition like anxiety or depression
  • physical disability, for example if you’re partially sighted or have to use crutches
  • long-term health condition such as cancer, chronic heart disease or HIV


You’ll need to give proof of your disability or condition.

You must also:

  • be taking a full-time or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate course in the UK (including Open University or distance learning) that lasts at least a year
  • qualify for student finance from student finance 

Find out more about and apply for Disabled Students Allowance on the GOV.UK website. 

Disability Living Allowance

If you’re under 16, you can apply for a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to help you with day to day costs. 

You can apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if:

  • you have a physical disability or a learning difficulty or mental health support needs
  • you need someone to support you, or you have difficulty walking and getting about
  • you have needed this support for at least three months and it’s likely to continue for at least another six months 

You can find out more about and apply for Disability Living Allowance on the GOV.UK website. 

When you are 16 years old you'll need to move from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is money for people over 16 who have extra care needs or difficulty getting around as a result of a disability. You could get between £23.30 and £148.85 a week. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you. A health professional will work out the level of help you can get. 

Find out more and how to claim a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on the GOV.UK website.

Universal Credit

If you’re over 18 you might be able to claim Universal Credit. You’ll need to get a medical certificate from your doctor, known as a statement of fitness to work, or a ‘fit note’.  The group Contact have more information about what Universal Credit is and where to get advice before you apply.

Employment and Support Allowance

If you’re 16 or over and your illness or disability affects how much you can work, you can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). This can include:

  • financial support
  • personalised help to get back into work

The GOV.UK website tells you how to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).