Money Support

​Start looking at this finance information from 16 or 17 so you know what’s going to be available for you once you turn 18 and are no longer looked after. Your social worker or carer will work with you as you approach 18 to support you to be ready for independence.​​​​



18-25: What money support can I get?

Click to expandBirthday Allowance

When you turn 19, 20 and 21 - you'll get £50 for your birthday.

Come do your Pathway Plan with your worker and they'll sort it out.

Click to expandFestival Allowance

Age 18-21 and done your Pathway Plan?

You'll get £50 to buy gifts or towards a celebration at holiday time.​

Click to expandVulnerable Young Person's Bursary (through college)

Vulnerable Young Person's Bursary
This is a government bursary which is available to most care leavers. It doesn't need to be paid back. The money comes through your college or sixth form so you will need to let them know that you're a care leaver. You must have good attendance to continue receiving this bursary.

You will get this if:
 - you're aged 16-19
 - you are in care, are a care leaver, or are claiming income support or getting both ESA and DLA/PIP

How much is it?
£1200 spread over the year

(Every college pays this differently. You could get some money and a travel pass.) ​​​

Click to expandFurther Education (E to E Top Up Payment)

This is for you if you are living independently and doing one of these: studying, training, or volunteering.

If you're doing an apprenticeship, go to the apprenticeships information + and also talk to your PA. 

E to E Top Up Payment (subject to attendance)
- Participating 12 or more hours - £30/week
- Participating 12 or less hours - £15/week 
In order to get it:
- You will need to have good attendance. Try to go in every day that you're scheduled to as this will help you get the most out of your experience. Even if you have an appointment during part of the day, you can always let your tutor/employer know and come in later than planned.
- Attitude counts...satisfactory reports from college about your attitude and participation will be taken into account when giving the payment.
Your college will also have a designated lead for care leavers who will be able to provide you with additional support. This may be in the form of travel passes or additional funding.
If you’re not in education, training or work and would like to be, talk with your PA about your options and for help getting on the right track.
Usually travel passes are available from your further education or training provider. If not or if you are having difficulty getting to your training, talk to your PA to see what they can do to help.
Additional Support with Equipment or Computers
In addition to your weekly money, you can access an Equipment and/or Computer Grant if needed for your coursework. For this, you must be in education or training for more than 12 hours a week. Talk to your PA about this. ​​​​​​​​​

Click to expandApprenticeships (E to E Top Up Payment)

If you're doing an apprenticeship, you may be able to get an E to E incentive as well. This will be based on the wage you receive in your apprenticeship.

You may also be able to get support with your rent and council tax.

Talk with your PA to find out.​​

Click to expandHousing

As you develop into adulthood, one of the biggest challenges can be independent living.

This is an area where your PA can give significant support.

Before you make the informed decision to live independently, your worker can go through the Passport to Independent Living with you to make sure you have considered all areas of living by yourself.

Your PA will discuss, advise and support on topics from budgeting (making your money last the week) to accessing services like GP, housing, etc. You can also look at getting a provisional driving license and more.

Click the link below for the passport to find out more...​​​

Passport to Independent Living

Click to expandWinter Fuel Allowance

You can access this for your first two years living independently, where you are responsible for your utilities. You can get £20/month during December, January and February to make sure you can stay warm. (Your PA can give you support with setting your heating.)​​​​

Click to expandIncome Support and Housing Benefit

Don't forget to tell Job Centre Plus that you're a care leaver...
I know we don't like to talk about it, but this will help them support you much better...and they'll give you a faster service! 

Being sanctioned?
 If anything is going wrong, as long as Job Centre Plus know you're a care leaver, they can get in touch directly with your PA to try and sort things out.

You will likely be able to claim income support and housing benefit if you are:
- aged 18 - 21
- living independently
- studying full-time (12 or more hours a week)

If you're 21-25 and entering or resuming education, talk to your PA about financial support they may be able to provide. Your PA can also help you apply for reduced rate tuition fees. You may be able to get:
- Maintenance allowance
- Registration and Fees of up to £200 
- You may get the E to E Top Up (same as the Further Education E to E, with the same eligibility)​​

Click to expandSetting up Home Allowance

As part of the support your PA will give you when you're setting up home, you can get a setting up home allowance.

Your PA will help you make sure you get good value for the money you're spending (guided spending), so that furniture lasts.

You will most likely want to access this funding when you are ready to start your own tenancy.

The Setting Up Home Allowance includes:
- £1,800 towards furniture and white goods for your tenancy
- Cooker and washing machine connection costs
- £100 towards decorating your tenancy (if allowed by the landlord)
- Removal and transport costs for moving in
- The first year of your TV license (£145.50) - Contents Insurance (one year)
- Health and Safety Pack

Click to expandLuggage - if you're moving...

We want you to be able to keep your stuff safe.

If you're moving between placements or moving out to live independently, some luggage items will be purchased for you.
Please talk to your PA about this.​​

Click to expandPassport and Birth Certificate (ID documents)

You will need an ID for different things like opening bank accounts, getting a library card, accessing utilities and services and going on holiday.

Social care may pay for you to get a copy of your birth certificate and your first passport, including the check and send facility - keep it safe!​​​​

Click to expandLearning to Drive and your Licence

Getting your driving licence can be expensive, but social care will help you pay for it, as it's good to get it done while you're young. It's useful for a lot of jobs and gives you more freedom once you're older.
Your PA will help you access:
- one provisional driving licence,
- one theory test and one practical driving test,
- plus 10 1-hr driving lessons, when you buy 10 yourself (up to £250) or maximum contribution of £250 towards intensive driving course
Your PA will help you choose the right instructor for you and make sure you feel comfortable.
This offer is for young people who have been in education, training or employment for 3 months, with good attendance, and who do not have any driving convictions. ​​​​ ​​

Click to expandIn Emergencies

If you find yourself in an emergency where you have no food, gas/electric or money to travel, get in touch with your PA. 

They will talk with you about what support you want, what's happened to date, and may speak with benefits with you to try and sort things out. After it's all sorted, we'll also work with you to make sure you've got the right information to support you in budgeting.

There are three different types of emergency payments you can get, if you're in need.

Up to 3 food parcels in a 6 month period

If we know there's only a short time till your benefits are sorted out, you can get up to 3 food parcels in a 6 month period (supplemented with £5 of fresh food)

ASDA food delivery (for longer-term need)

If we know it's going to take a little bit longer, we will get an ASDA delivery with 1-2 weeks' food in it sent to your house. You can only have this 2 times over 6 months.

£20 top-up for gas/electric

If you have no gas or electric, we can add £5 top-up to your card for each (or £10 total if you only have electric) to tide you over to your next weekly payment. You can only have this 3 times over 6 months.

Travel Pass

You may also be able to get a daily travel ticket for getting to appointments and for education or training.