As a care leaver we will try to help you financially. Your personal adviser will give you advice and information about what you are entitled to.

We will support you to:

  • get a form of ID such as a passport or provisional driving licence
  • get your National Insurance number
  • open a bank account
  • access your Junior ISA savings account when you are 18
  • budget and manage your money

Living costs

16 or 17 year olds

If you are living independently you will get a Leaving Care Allowance to cover the costs of day to day living.

This is for things like food, utility bills, general travel, social life, entertainment and toiletries. The amount will be the same as the current rate for Universal Credit.

In most cases you will not be able to claim certain benefits (unless you are a lone parent) such as Universal Credit.

18 and over

After you turn 18 you will no longer get a weekly leaving care allowance. If you are not getting an income from employment, apprenticeship or in higher education then you will need to make a claim for benefits for your weekly income and rent.

Benefits and grants

Benefits are payments from the government that you claim through Jobcentre Plus. Every Jobcentre Plus in Lancashire has a single point of contact (also known as SPOCs). These are advisers who offer support to care leavers, such as helping you find employment and help with any benefit problems. Your personal adviser will have the contact details for the relevant SPOC. Also ask your personal adviser about advance claims for care leavers.

Grants are one off payments you can apply for, usually to help pay for things like education courses. There are a number of organisations that give grants to young people, some specifically for care leavers. Ask your personal adviser for more information.

Other costs

We will also provide financial support for:

  • education, employment and training – such as course equipment, 16-19 Bursary, HE Bursary, Graduation Bursary on completion of the degree or work wear (based on assessed need)
  • accommodation – such as a setting up home allowance to help you buy essential things when moving into your own home, support with bond and deposit
  • emergencies (exceptional financial support)
  • your birthdays and Christmas or other celebrations

Speak to your personal adviser if you have any questions about what you are entitled to.

More information and advice

The Welfare Rights Service provides free and confidential advice to make sure that you are claiming all of the benefits you are entitled to. They also provide advice and guidance on appealing a benefits decision.

Other organisations that provide information and advice: