Financial support for Care Leavers aged 18-25

What financial support is available to me?

The financial support you will receive depends on your age. You may also be entitled to financial support due to other things in your personal circumstances. Take a look at the other financial information pages below to see the support on offer to you:

Any financial support given to you will be clearly recorded in your Pathway Plan.

You may also receive up to £200 per year for leisure/cultural activities if there are no other funding options available. Your needs will be fully recorded in your Pathway Plan.

I’m 18-21, what support is available for me?

All of Swindon’s care leavers aged 16-21 years could receive the following financial support:

  • Birthday allowance of £50 per year
  • Christmas/festival allowance of £100 per year
  • Leaving Care Grant up to £2000
  • A provisional driving licence
  • Driving lessons up to the value of £500
  • Passport cost
  • Cost of birth certificate if needed

If you are aged 18 to 21 and have left care (or up to 25 if you are in full-time further or higher education) you are entitled to claim benefits. You could be able to apply for different elements of Universal Credit like income support and/or housing benefit. If you have a Learning difficulty or disability and/or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) you may be entitled to additional support. This could be funding for 1:1 tutors or other things that can help you access education, training and employment.

If you are not in education or employment then you will need to claim universal credit.

The Positive Futures team can assist you with financial support until these claims are processed, but you will be expected to apply for these benefits yourself. Your PA can help you with things like filling in the form and how to find/ gain and upload your ID.  The Positive Futures team will also pay for special clothes, specialist books or expenses that you need to support you in your education, employment or training This will be assessed on an individual basis.

What if I am not in education or training?

When you turn 18 you are legally classed as an adult and are therefore able to apply for benefits like Universal Credit (UC). If you are not in education or employment then you could gain the maximum amount from UC depending on your circumstances, but this would mean Positive Futures could only help you to receive elements of UC in addition to the general support you could be offered.

You would not be entitled to the same support as those who are in education, training and/ or employment. Your Pathway Advisor (PA) can help you with:

  • filling in the forms to apply for different elements of UC such as Job Seekers Allowance and Housing Benefits
  • helping you with finding/ gaining appropriate ID and uploading it.
  • The Positive Futures team may also pay the cost of special clothes or expenses associated with attending an interview. This will be assessed on an individual basis.

Prescription Charges for Care Leavers 16–25-year-olds

Care Leavers are eligible for free prescriptions if they are:

  • aged 16 to 18 and in full time education
  • receiving Universal Credit, Income Support, Income Based Employment and Support or Job Seekers Allowance
  • pregnant or have a baby in the last 12 months (you will need an exemption certificate from your GP)
  • Have a condition that accepts you from prescription charges

Support for care leavers on a low income

Those on a low income can apply for a Health Credit Certificate known as an HC2 or HC3. This gives reduced cost or free dental and air eye checks/treatment as well as prescription charges. This is dependent on income and needs at the time you apply for support. Certificates can last from six months to five years depending on circumstances.

For details and application form: NHS Low Income Scheme 

What benefits am I entitled to?

Care Leavers may be able to apply for a range of state benefits and allowances, including:

  • Universal Credit
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Many more

Some benefits will be considered when calculating the level of financial support that you receive from Positive Futures.

If you have a learning difficulty or disability that impacts on your daily living or mobility you may also be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which your PA can help you apply for. Benefits like PIP are not means tested so if you are eligible, you can receive it alongside your other benefits.

Your Pathway Advisor (PA) will help you to claim any benefits and allowances.

Getting in touch

For more information or advice, please contact the Positive Futures Team on 01793 466715 or email pfduty@swindon.gov.uk

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