Skip to content

We use cookies to make the site simpler. By continuing to use this site and closing this message you agree to our use of cookies.Find out more about cookies

Close alert

Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Benefits and funding

As a young person with SEN or disability, you could get a range of benefits and funding to help support your needs. This funding is in addition to funding all children and young people are entitled too. 


Can I claim benefits in my own right when I am 16?

If you are under 16, all benefits will be paid to your parent or carer. 

When you turn 16 you can choose to claim your own benefits. However, it could affect your parent or carers entitlement to:

  • child benefit
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • the child elements in Universal Credit

If you'd like to start claiming your own benefits, first have a chat with your parents or carer. You can then decide which option would be most beneficial for each of you. 


If you are between 16 and 25 you may be entitled to some funding which could include:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Disabled Students' Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Personal support fund

What funding and benefits can I claim?

See this table for details of what funding is available:

Funding for young people age 16 to 25 with SEND
Type of financial supportWhat and who is the funding for?Find out more or apply for funding
Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

This is available to higher education students, living in England, with a disability such as a:

  • long-term health condition
  • mental health condition
  • specific learning difficulty, for example, dyslexia
Find out more information and how to  apply for a DSA.
Access to Work

This grant is for people with a disability, health or mental health condition. It can help support you to:

  • start working
  • stay in work
  • move into self-employment or start a business

Find out about the Access to Work grant.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

ESA can provide financial support if you are unable to work, or to support you to work if you are able to. This is for young people who are ill or have a disability. You can be employed, self-employed or unemployed.

If you are in full time education you must be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (if under 16) or Personal Independent Payment (if over 16).

Find out more about  ESA.
Student Finance

Student Finance lets you borrow money to help pay for university or college. The amount you get will depend on your situation. You can get loans to cover your course fees, living costs, and other costs. You will pay back your loans once you start working. Some students can get a grant, which you don't have to pay pack. This could be if you:

  • or your parents or carer have a low income
  • are disabled
  • have children
Find out how to  apply for Student Finance and what you may be able to get.

Find more information

Talk to someone you know for help understanding what you are eligible for. This could be a parent or carer, family member or friend.

Your feedback

This form is to report content that is wrong, or any issues or feedback you have about the web page.

Contact us if you want to get in touch about a council service instead.

All fields are required.

Leave your email address so that we can provide a response.

This helps us direct your feedback to the appropriate council.

General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.