Benefits for children over 16 with additional needs

This page is for parents or guardians of young people with additional needs, such as a physical or mental illness or disability, behavioural problems, developmental delay or a learning disability.

If your child is under 16 and has additional needs, read the guidance on financial help for children under 16 with additional support needs.

If your child is over 16 and doesn't have a disability, read the guidance on benefits for children over 16.

How things change when your child turns 16

When your child turns 16, they can choose to either:

  • claim benefits in their own right
  • remain part of your claim.

Please note: It's important to get advice about this as you could be worse off if your child claims benefits in their own right. Call the Welfare Rights Service on 020 8921 6375.

If your child can't manage their own affairs, you can continue to be their appointee and to claim benefits for them.

Personal Independence Payment

After the age of 16, your child can no longer claim Disability Living Allowance and will need to claim Personal Independence Payment instead.

You'll get a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before your child's 16th birthday to help you prepare for the switch and to establish if they'll need an appointee.

When your child turns 16, they'll get a letter from the DWP inviting them (or their appointee) to claim Personal Independence Payment.

You'll continue to get Disability Living Allowance while your Personal Independence Payment claim is being processed.

Please note: If your child (or their appointee) doesn't respond to the invitation to claim, their Disability Living Allowance will stop.

How your benefits are affected

Your benefits will be affected and may stop if your child starts claiming benefits in their own right and you claim any of the following benefits:

Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit will stop if your child claims benefits in their own right. You'll also lose any extra money that may be included for them in your other benefits, such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.

You'll continue to get Carer's Allowance if your child gets Personal Independence Payment for the daily living activity component.

For advice on your individual position, call the Welfare Rights Service on 020 8921 6375.

Contact Welfare Rights

Welfare Rights enquiry form

Public Advice Line: 020 8921 6375

Textphone number: 18001 020 8921 6375

Fax: 020 8921 2016

Welfare Rights Service,
The Woolwich Centre,
35 Wellington Street,
London SE18 6HQ