Go to navigation
Young disabled people
Once a young disabled person reaches 16, they can claim income
maintenance benefits in their own right, even though they may still
be at school.
If previously someone acted as an agent or appointee for
benefits such as Disability
Living Allowance (DLA), the need for an appointee will be
reviewed once the young person reaches 16 years of age.
Employment and Support Allowance in youth
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a
benefit paid to people aged 16 or older who cannot work because of
a mental or physical disability. The rules are:
- you have to be aged 16 but under 20; and
- you have satisfied the disability conditions for six months and
are likely to satisfy conditions for a further six months;
- you are present and resident in Great Britain;
- you are in relevant education and under 20 and
you study less than 21 hours a week or you study
over 21 hours a week and the course that you do is one that a
person of your age without you disability would not do.
Young People who have never worked will claim the income-related
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- This is a benefit for people younger than 65 who have a mental
or physical disability. The Care Component can be paid from the age
of three months and the Mobility Component from the age of three
- If the young person was awarded DLA before they were 16 years
old, the claim would be looked again as they approach 16. This is
because slightly different rules apply.
To meet the criteria for DLA from the age of 16, a person
- require help with personal care such as walking, sitting,
sleeping, washing, dressing, eating, hearing, seeing, breathing,
- need supervision with these things;
- need help to plan, prepare and cook a main meal for
- need guidance and supervision while walking out of doors
or be unable to walk or virtually unable to walk,
which looks at the speed, distance, manner and length of time it
takes to walk a limited distance.
How to claim
To claim DLA for the first time, phone the Benefit Enquiry Line
on 0800 88 22 00.
To see if you are entitled to a higher rate than previously in
receipt of, due to a change in circumstances, phone 08457
Disabled Students Allowance (DSA)
DSA is a non means-tested grant to cover any additional
disability related costs of study, such as:
- specialist equipment;
- non-medical helpers;
- general expenditure;
- extra travel costs incurred as a result of disability (not
normally for every day travel costs.
To receive this, the young person will require a needs
assessment. The Local Education Authority will advise the process
for this. An award of DSA will not affect entitlement to other
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
The EMA scheme closed to new applicants on 1 January 2011.
Schools, colleges and training providers have bursary funds to help
you if you’re studying or starting a course and face financial
hardship. For advice speak to student support services or your
tutor. Find out more about
16 to 19 bursaries.
Effect on the young person’s parents' benefits
Child Benefit (CHB)
If the young person is aged between 16 and 20 and gets ESA in
Youth or Incapacity in Youth and Income Support, any entitlement to CHB
ceases and any benefit owing to the young person will be reduced by
the amount of CHB already paid to the parents for the same
If parents are getting Income Support, Child Tax Credit or
Income-based Jobseekers Allowance themselves, it is important to
check how this is affected before claiming benefits for the young
person. Parent’s benefits will be reduced once the young person
starts to claim benefits in their own right and they may lose more
than the young person gains. Seek further advice.
Local Housing Allowance - Housing Benefit - Council Tax
If parents are getting Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers
Credit or ESA (Income Related) as well as Local Housing
Allowance (LHA), Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Benefit
(CTB) and continue to receive this after the young person claims
benefits in their own right, there will be no change until that
young person reaches 18. However, they may have a reduction once
the young person reaches 18. Seek further advice.
Download the Young Disabled People
leaflet (pdf 135KB).
To use this file you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do
not have it on your computer, please use the advice page.
Add this page to my Quick Links: Add page
Send this page to a friend: Send