Keeping your finances in check as the kids grow up
Changes to household finances can often be a complex thing to get your head around.
Whether it be changes to benefit payments or unexpected bills and costs, every penny is more important than ever before.
Our Money Advice Team has taken a look at the impact children between the ages of 16 and 18 can have on household finances and what support is available.
Children aged 16 and 17 in education
Young people aged 16 and 17 must stay in education or training until they reach the age of 18. This can include apprenticeships, traineeships or college.
Parents will be sent forms to complete to confirm whether their child is staying in education and it’s vital these are completed and returned. If they’re not, Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits could end.
If Child Tax Credits are stopped, you’ll not be able to reclaim this money and may have to move onto Universal Credit. Additionally, if you claim Housing Benefit and don’t fill in these forms, the child element of this benefit may end, resulting in less money being paid.
Ultimately, it’s very important that all benefits departments are advised of any young people in your home aged 16 and 17 and what they’re doing, to make sure your entitlement isn’t affected. For more information, visit gov.uk/child-benefit-16-19
Young people aged 18
Once somebody in your home reaches 18, they’re treated as an adult. This means they may be able to claim benefits in their own right.
However, if they’re still in education, the forms mentioned above must be completed to keep Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits.
If you have an 18-year-old living at home and claiming Universal Credit, they’ll be classed as a non-dependent. This means deductions can be made from their parents’ benefits, including Housing Benefit and Council Tax. The amount deducted will depend on what the 18-year-old is doing.
If parents are having deductions takn from their benefits due to nondependents, they should speak with the young person to discuss with them how they’ll contribute to the household budget.
There’s lots of support available to help you manage your money and to help young people with their education, including:
- Free school uniforms and local school uniform banks
- Free school meals
- University - speak to student services about the help available
- Finding work or training opportunities - speak to our Employment and Skills Team
- Our cost of living support