Talking about tomorrow


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 that all 16-year-olds can manage their own finances unless they don’t have capacity. If you feel your young person will struggle, you should ask about becoming an appointee so you can do this on their behalf. You should also consider getting Guardianship or Power of Attorney in place, particularly if your child might have income, savings or capital aside from benefits – for example, property inherited from a family member.

If the Department of Work and Pensions has already appointed you to act for a young person, Social Security Scotland will need to review your appointment to make sure it works for the young person. Scottish law on appointees is different to UK law. It aims to give greater protection to clients. The Scottish government website has more information on this  – Rights and responsibilities as an appointee.

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. Find out more 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.