If you are aged 16 or 17 and no longer living in a foster placement or residential home we will provide you with a weekly maintenance payment. This will be the same amount paid by Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support.
At 18 you become eligible for benefits and as a Care Leaver, you are able to apply early; 2 weeks before you turn 18. Your worker will help you through the process and explain it all for you.
Job Seekers Allowance
This is for people who are actively looking for a job but haven’t yet found work. You have to attend the job centre every week for appointments (called ‘signing on’ appointments) with your job centre advisor and evidence that you are looking and applying for work. The current payment rate for Job Seekers Allowance is £115.80 per fortnight and gets paid into your account. If you don’t show that you are looking for work the job centre can sanction you by stopping your money.
This benefit is for different circumstances. It will apply to you whilst you are in college and supports people who are in full-time education. You would attend an initial appointment with the job centre but once they agree you are eligible, you will receive fortnightly payments of £115.80 without having to attend appointments.
The Job Centre (DWP)
The Job Centre is run by the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) and they are in the process of changing the benefits system over to something called Universal Credit. Not all areas are set up for Universal Credit yet but if your area is, your benefits will work differently;
All current benefits, for example; Income Support & Job Seekers Allowance will move under the Universal Credit Scheme. Other benefits such as Housing Benefit will also come under this scheme and your total benefit entitlement of all those you should be receiving will be paid to you in one monthly payment.
If you have problems with your benefits and gaps between payments, we may be able to help you. Get in touch with worker as soon as you realise there is a problem.