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I have heard many things about when your child turns 16, can anyone tell me if the following is true or give me advice?

My son gets DLA and my wife gets carers allowance

when he turns 16 can he get income support in his own right??? does this affect his DLA, do you get both or is it one or the other?

I have heard if he gets income support he will get free school meals as he is still at school until he turns 19, it is a special school.... is this true?

if he gets all the above, does this affect our tax credits?

does anyone have any advice on any of the above....

Hope you can help thanks jason
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You should get the forms through for his DLA review before he turns 16. If he is capable of managing his own affairs then DLA will be paid directly to him regardless of his circumstances, such as whether or not he is in education or any other benefits received by the claimant (or by the family for the claimant).

If he is not capable of managing his own affairs then the DWP need to know as he will need an appointee, usually a parent/carer and they usually send someone out to meet you about this.

DLA entitlement does not affect other benefits entitlements although in some circumstances receiving DLA entitles you to additional premiums on other benefits. As long as his DLA continues at either medium or higher rate for care then your wife can still get Carers Allowance as long as she meets the requirements for earnings and hours worked.

DLA changes from child to adult on the 16th birthday but some other benefits stay in place basically until the end of the school year when the child is legally allowed to leave school. Your Child Tax Credits and Child Benefit will remain in place while he is in Year 11 until the official leaving date. Other benefits then depend on whether he leaves education or stays in education.

If he stays in education after leaving Year 11 then assuming this is classed as full time education, you should still get Child Tax Credits and Child Benefit although you will need to notify both departments nearer the time and give details of what further education he is doing. In this situation as you get benefits for him he would not normally be able to claim anything for himself other than the DLA.

If he leaves education and is not capable of working then he will have to go down the route of claiming Employment & Support Allowance. If he is not capable of managing his own affairs then as his appointee you would have to do this for him.

Most parents just carry on claiming the CTC & CB but there are some limited circumstances in which young people on both ESA and DLA can receive both of these benefits while in education but this is a complex area which you would need proper advice on. As we decided not to go down this route but to reclaim Child Tax Credits instead, I no longer have the info on it. My son’s circumstances were different to your’s though as he had claimed ESA for a year before returning to education when his health improved.

While people on Income Support are entitled to free school meals for their dependants unless he qualifies for Income Support he would not be able to claim free school meals for himself. From the little I know, it is unlikely he would qualify for Income Support although there is provision for some young people to get Income Support if they are in education but this is in very limited circumstances and I believe it usually relates to young parents or carers, or young people not living with parents or carers. However if you were still getting Child Tax Credits you may be entitled to free school meals if your income is low enough.

Hope this helps
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