Benefits for young people looking for work
- Access to Work
- Universal Credit
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Disability living allowance (DLA)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Help at work
- Starting a business
Access to Work funding is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions to support young people and adults with learning difficulties or disabilities into employment.
The funding is for equipment or additional support you may need so you can work.
- You can find out more on the Access to Work section of the GOV.UK site (external link)
Universal Credit is a new benefit payment to help with living costs and is paid monthly. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.
Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:
- Child Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Working Tax Credit
If you currently receive any of these benefits, you can’t claim Universal Credit at the same time. Most people claiming Universal Credit will have to sign a work commitment detailing the steps you agree to take to find employment.
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is to help you when you look for work. You may get Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if:
- you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 or 17) and
- you’re under State Pension Age and
- you’re not in full-time education and
- you live in England, Scotland or Wales and
- you are available for work and
- you are actively seeking work and
- you work (on average) less than 16 hours per week
To keep getting JSA you must agree to be looking for work and you will have to show how you are doing this.
If you need help to apply your job centre can give you a claim form but you can also apply online.
You can apply for ESA if you are unable to work due to illness and/or disability.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) gives you:
- Financial support if you’re unable to work
- Personalised help to support you to work if you are able to
You can also start your claim on the phone.
Find out more on the GOV.UK ESA page (external link)
If you are having problems accessing the form your local Job Centre can help.
- Health and Work conversation/interview
Once your claim has been processed you will need to attend a Health and Work conversation interview to discuss the kind of support you need. You’ll be told if you need to attend after you make a claim. If you do, it will take place around 4 weeks after the date of your claim.
You might not need a Health and Work conversation interview if you are in hospital, having certain types of treatment or you have a terminal illness.
- Work Capability Assessment
You will then be called to a Work Capability Assessment while your ESA claim is still being assessed. This is to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work. You will need to attend in person for the assessment in most cases. You can take a family member, friend or carer with you.
After this assessment, if you’re entitled to ESA, you will be categorized in one of 2 groups:
- ESA Work-Related Activity Group - where you’ll have regular work-focused interviews with an adviser
- ESA Support Group - where you will not need to have work-focused interviews, as it is accepted that you cannot prepare for work at this time.
You might be able to claim ESA and do some work but this will depend on how much you’ll get paid and how many hours you work. This is called Permitted Work.
If you do ‘permitted work’ it won’t affect your ESA. The work you do can be considered permitted if:
- you earn up to £120 a week
- you work less than 16 hours a week
There’s no limit on how many weeks you can keep doing “permitted work” if both the above requirements still apply.
If you do not agree with a decision made about any benefit you can challenge this and ask the decision makers to change their decision.
There is no basic Disability Premium within income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), but you may still qualify for the severe and enhanced disability premiums.
DLA is a tax-free benefit for disabled people who need help with getting around outdoors, and/or personal care indoors. DLA is being replaced by Personal Independence Payments (see below).
If you are already claiming it, you will continue to get DLA until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to tell you when your DLA will end. You will then be invited to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead. If you do not make the PIP claim your DLA will eventually stop.
Telephone: 0345 712 3456
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) is replacing Disability Living Allowance for adults aged 16 - 64. This benefit is to help with day-to-day expenses for those with an illness, disability or mental health condition that impacts on their ability to self-care and get around outdoors.
When you are aged 16 the Department for Work and Pensions will expect you to take responsibility for discussing the claim, filling in the forms, attending the assessments and having the payment paid into your own account.
However, if you are a young person (or the parent or carer of a young person) who still needs help understanding the claim form, rules and information about the benefit, you can still get help from a parent, carer or advocate.
If you do not understand all of the information, a parent or carer can apply to become your appointee and be the named person who continues to deal with the forms and contact the DWP for you.
PIP does not depend on how much you earn or on any savings you might have. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.
You will have an assessment by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get and be regularly reviewed to make sure you get the right support.
PIP can be claimed alongside other benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), JSA and Universal Credit.
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) on GOV.UK (external link)
- Information on PIP on Money Helper (external link)
- Information on PIP at Citizens Advice (external link)
Your employer must try to make certain changes (known as ‘reasonable adjustments’) to make sure you’re not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job. These could include changing your working hours or providing equipment to help you do your job.
You could get mentoring and a grant to help you start your own business through New Enterprise Allowance.
You may be eligible if you’re over 18 and either:
- you or your partner get Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
- you get Income Support and you’re a lone parent, sick or disabled
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In this section:
- Benefit entitlements
- Direct Payments and Personal Budgets
- Personal Independence Payment
- Support for adults and carers
- Help with housing costs
- Help with health costs
- Support while looking for work
- Support for children and young people in education
- Further information