On this page
Once you turn 16 you may be able to claim benefits and allowances in your own right. Below are some useful links to find out more about different allowances, the application processes and if you are eligible for them.
Managing your money will be an important part of becoming a young adult and living more independently. Our Adult Care and Health page on money management has some useful advice and support to help you with this.
If you feel unable to manage your benefits someone can become an appointee on your behalf. The appointee can apply to deal with your benefits for you if you are struggling with it. They can be a friend or relative, or an organisation like a solicitors or your local council.
Financial support for education, training and employment
- The 16-19 Bursary Fund is a Government bursary that can help you with educational costs such as travel, books, meals or clothing if you are studying at a school or college or on a training course (including unpaid work experience). If you have an EHC plan you may be eligible for the bursary if you are over the age of 19.
- Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is an allowance provided by the government which offers help if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. The ‘New Style’ ESA has replaced the ‘contribution-based’ ESA. You can find out more about whether you are eligible on the Government website.
- Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). It may be possible for people studying a further education course to get additional money to support their studies through the Disabled Students’ Allowance depending on circumstances. Healthcare and social work students may be eligible for a bursary through the NHS Disabled Students’ Allowance. See NHS Student Bursaries for more information.
- Access to work, provides support and could include money, known as a grant, which you don’t have to pay back. It helps people who have a disability or long-term health condition to do their job.
Financial support for health needs
- A personal health budget is an amount of money granted by your local NHS team to help with your health and wellbeing needs.
Financial support for independent living
Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit that has replaced 6 ‘legacy’ benefits:
- Income-related ESA
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support.
With very few exceptions, no new claims can now be made for the 6 legacy benefits.
Please note: Claims for contribution based JSA and ESA (based on National Insurance contributions) can still be made.
Other financial support available
- Working Tax Credit is a government benefit that helps those on lower incomes. You can only make a claim for Working Tax Credit if you already get Child Tax Credit. If you cannot apply for Working Tax Credit, you can apply for Universal Credit instead.
- A personal budget is made up of resources that can be used flexibly to support you with your education, health or care needs.
- Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) can help you with extra costs if you have a long-term disability or illness.
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA). You can only apply for a DLA if you are under the age of 16. If you are over the age of 16 you can apply for a PIP (see above).
- Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent if you’re unemployed, on a low income or claiming benefits. It’s being replaced by Universal Credit and you can only make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you’re in supported, sheltered or temporary housing or if you’ve reached State Pension age. You can find out more information about additional help with housing costs on the Government website.
- Council Tax Reduction Benefit can still be claimed by those on low incomes or means tested benefits.
- Some people do not have to pay Council Tax. You can find out more about Council Tax Exemptions on the Government website.
Disabled Facilities Grants
Disabled Facilities Grants are for people who are or could be, registered disabled. You can use this money to make adaptations to your home to help you live more independently.
If you have a disabled child (anyone under 16 years old) or a disabled young person who is under 19 and in full-time education living with you, you are also entitled to a grant.
Find out more at GOV.UK – Disabled Facilities Grants
How do I get one?
Contact Care Direct at Devon County Council on 0345 1551 007 to arrange for an occupational therapist to visit. The occupational therapist will assess your needs for an adaptation and if a disabled facilities grant is recommended they will send a referral to your district council.
You can find more information about disabled facilities grants by visiting your local district council’s website. The links below will take you straight to the correct page:
- Exeter City Council
- Teignbridge District Council
- South Hams District Council
- North Devon Council
- Mid Devon District Council
- East Devon District Council
- Torridge District Council
- West Devon Borough Council
What if I want more choice over the equipment I get?
When you are over 18, you can get small pieces of equipment to help you stay independent in your home. We use prescriptions for this equipment to give you more control and choice over the equipment you have. You can choose what you want and where to get it. The process is simple, quick and free, and you can get independent help and information if you need it. For help with this call Care Direct on 0345 1551 007.
Financial support for carers of young adults
If you care for a child or young adult you may be eligible for some support of your own to help you best support them and yourself. The Care Act 2014 recognises the rights of carers.
As a carer of someone over 18 you may be entitled to financial support in your own right. You might be eligible for a Carer’s Allowance.
Find out more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply at GOV.UK – Carer’s Allowance.
Additional help for parent carers
- The Disability Living Allowance for children may help with the extra costs of looking after a child who is under 16 and has difficulties walking or needs much more support than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability
- Personal Independence Payments – You may be able to get help with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or disability if your child is aged over 16. The national charity Contact has produced a useful guide to Personal Independence Payments (September 2016).