16 and 17 year old young people at risk of homelessness
Buckinghamshire Children’s Services has a duty to support looked after children financially up to the age of 18, and young people who are accommodated under section 20 will not be able to claim benefits. However young people who are registered disabled or who have children may be able to claim some benefits and social workers will advise on this.
Young people aged 16-18 who are not subject to section 20 (Looked After Children status) but who are living separately from their parents in temporary accommodation having been placed there by Homeless Services will be able to claim income support or job-seekers allowance and will need to apply for housing benefit to pay for their accommodation.
Following assessment, the social worker will support, where necessary, the young person to apply for benefits. The social worker will provide a copy of the child and family/homelessness assessment and a letter stating that the young person is living independently, is estranged from their parents and will not be accommodated under section 20 of the Children Act.
When a looked after young person is 18 years old, they will be eligible to claim benefits and their personal advisor in the Leaving Care team should help in making their claim.