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Benefits & Finance

Things change at age 16. Find out what you should know – and where to get information and support.

Things to think about

Benefits and entitlements

The law assumes all 16-year-olds manage their own finances unless they don’t have capacity. If you feel your young person will struggle, you should call the Department of Work and Pensions to ask about becoming their appointee so you can do this on their behalf. You should also consider getting guardianship or Power of Attorney for finance in place, particularly if your child might have income or capital other than benefits – for example, property inherited from a family member.

Find out more about the main benefits and entitlements for people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Get a finance health check

Knowing what someone’s entitled to is a start.

You also need to know how a claim by them might affect benefits you receive, as their parent. Sometimes there’s a choice, so it’s important to speak to a benefits adviser to understand what’s best for your family as a whole.

It’s a good idea to get a benefit check every few years to make sure you aren’t missing anything, especially if there’s been a change in circumstances – for example a family member turning 16, or moving into paid employment.

Find out how to get the right advice.

Other sources of funding

Many charities, trusts and government schemes provide money for a range of things, from equipment to helping with transport to paying for holidays.

The Scottish Government launched a £5 million Transition Fund in 2018 to give young people with learning difficulties and disabilities the chance to develop their interests, build life skills and get more involved in their communities.

Find out about other sources of funding.

Finance and education

Young disabled adults going to college or university may qualify for help with accommodation costs, travel expenses and the cost of certain types of support.

Get more information on what’s available for young people going on to further education.

Managing finance

Lots of people worry about managing money or find it difficult. If that’s you, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Check our tips on

  • Financial planning
  • Managing a personal budget
  • Dealing with debt
  • Building your young person’s financial awareness.

Find out more about managing finance.