For advice and guidance on money, benefits, grants and funding options available to young people, please click the information below.

If you are in your final year of school the benefits that your parents get will not change until the end of the summer after year 11. How benefits are affected after that will depend on what you are going to do after this time. Your parent or carer will need to tell the HMRC what you are planning to do.

Child Benefit

Child Benefit stops on 31 August on or after your 16th birthday if you leave education or training. It continues if you stay in approved education or training, but your parent or carer must tell the Child Benefit Office. Your parent or carer will be sent a letter in your last year at school asking to confirm your plans.

For more information on the types of education and training included visit or contact the help line on 0300 200 3100.

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

Child Tax Credit usually stops on 31 August after your child turns 16 but can continue for children under 20 in approved education, training or registered with a careers service.

For more information on the types of education and training included visit or contact the help line on 0345 300 3900.

Working tax credit is not affected as long as you are still getting child benefit for your child.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax

Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction is not affected as long as you are still getting child benefit for your child. For more information please contact 020 7525 1880.

 Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for disabled people.

You can only apply for DLA if you’re under 16. You can apply for PIP if you’re aged 16 or over.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help with extra living costs if you have both:

  • a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability

  • difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition

You can get PIP even if you’re working, have savings or are getting most other benefits.

Click here for more information

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is support to cover the study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

This can be on its own or in addition to any student finance you get. The type of support and how much you get depends on your individual needs - not your household income. You do not need to pay back DSA.

You may be able to get help with the costs of:

  • specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
  • non-medical helpers, for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or specialist note taker
  • extra travel to attend your course or placement because of your disability
  • other disability-related study support, for example having to print additional copies of documents for proof-reading

Click here to view How to Apply for DSA

Click here to view more information on eligibility and details of the DSA process

You could get help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16-19 and studying at school or college (not university), on a training course, including unpaid work experience. This used to be called 'EMA'

What is it for?

A bursary is money that you, or your education or training provider, can use to pay for things like clothing, books and other equipment for your course, transport and lunch on days you go.

Who can get one?

  • Under 19 at the start of the academic year you want a bursary for

  • Studying at school or college, or on an unpaid training course

Southwark Educational Maintenance Supplement (SEMS):

The SEMS is a small grant paid to assist young people who would otherwise struggle with the costs of post 16 education. The grant was initially introduced to help ease the burden many families faced with the removal of EMA. Since 2011 and the beginning of the grant over 5,106 payments have been made to young Southwark Residents.

To be eligible for the grant young people must be:

  • 16-18 years old

  • Resident in Southwark

  • Eligible for free school meals

  • Not receiving the £1,200 entitlement under the national 16 to 18 bursary scheme

If you’re interested in receiving the grant then please contact your school’s finance office.

Vulnerable student bursary

You could get up to £1,200 if at least one of the following applies:

  • You’re in or recently left local authority care

  • You get Income Support (or Universal Credit in place of Income Support) in your name

  • You’re disabled and get both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (or Universal Credit in place of ESA), and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in your name

You may get the full amount if you have expenses and study full-time on a course of at least 30 weeks. You’ll usually get less, or no bursary, if your course is shorter, you study part time or have few expenses. You’ll be told what evidence you need, eg benefit letters.

Discretionary bursary

Education and training providers set their own criteria for discretionary bursaries, e.g. they might look at family income.
Ask student services at your college about their criteria and any evidence you’ll need.

How to apply

Apply to your school, college or training provider. Ask student services or your tutor to explain what you need to do. Further information available at this link.

When to apply

Apply once you know where you’ll study or train, so you’ll get your bursary as soon as possible. You might need to reapply for a bursary for each year of your course. Check with your provider.

Discretionary Learner Support for 19+ (If you are thinking about college)

If you’re aged 19 or over, on a further education course and facing financial hardship, you could get Learner Support (LS).

To get Learner Support you must be:

  • 19 or over
  • Studying at a learning provider funded by the Skills Funding Agency (check with your college)

How to apply:

  • You apply to your learning provider (eg your college) for DLS.
    You must be 20 or over to get help with childcare costs (if you’re 19 you could apply for Care to Learn instead).

How much you get depends on your circumstances.

The money can help pay for things like:

  • Accommodation and travel
  • Course materials and equipment
  • Childcare - if you qualify

Who can’t apply:

You can’t claim if you’re:

  • Getting student finance for higher education
  • On a Community Learning course

For more information on Learner Support, click here

Southwark Scholarship Scheme (If you are thinking about going to University):

One of the ways Southwark Council is helping our residents to achieve the best start in life, is through the Southwark Scholarship Scheme. Residents who have a good academic record of achievement and who have also helped out within their local community could be eligible for the Scholarship. Through the Scholarship, Southwark Council commits to pay the entirety of the Southwark Scholar’s tuition fees, regardless of course length or cost. This helps to ensure that the Students are able to focus on their studies, and not worry about their finances and debt.

Who can apply:

  • under 25 years old
  • must come from a household with a combined income of less than £25,000 per annum
  • proven record of being a resident of Southwark for a minimum of the past 3 years (students placed outside of the borough temporarily by Southwark’s Housing Department are eligible subject to evidence)
  • have a legal status in the UK with indefinite leave to remain
  • must be entering higher education for the first time  
  • must have a proven record of active engagement and positively contributing to the community in Southwark
  • must have a good record of academic achievement
  • must have a UCAS offer from their chosen university  

If you’re interested in applying for the Southwark Scholarship Scheme please see this link

For more information on Southwark Scholarship Scheme, please click here

A grant can be money or products given by one agency, often a government department, corporation, foundation or trust. These are given to individuals, businesses or education settings
They are given for all different things like to help you access education, set up your own business or to do some voluntary work.

Using this link you can put in your postcode and age to see what is available in your area:

A benefit is an amount of money that you could be entitled to depending on your situation

Using you can have a look at the different categories which may mean that you can apply.  This site has its own benefit checker you can use

Who can help me locally with benefit and grant advice?
Citizens Advice Southwark can help with DLA and PIP applications and renewals.
For more details visit Citizens Advice Southwark or phone for advice between 9.30-4pm Mon-Fri (7pm on Tuesdays) on 0300 330 1170

Southwark Local Support Team
Are you claiming all that you are entitled to? We can help you:

  • Make sure your benefits are correct
  • Help you with claims for new benefits
  • Help to get mistakes put right

To book an appointment please call: 020 7525 2434 Or email:

Your employer must make certain changes (known as ‘reasonable adjustments’) to make sure you’re not substantially disadvantaged when doing your job. These could include changing your working hours or providing equipment to help you do your job.

If the help you need at work is not covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments, you may be able to get help from Access to Work.

 An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support if you have a disability, health or mental health condition to help you:

  • start working
  • stay in work
  • move into self-employment or start a business

The grant is not for business start-up costs and how much you get depends on your circumstances.

The money doesn’t have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits. 

For further information and to apply, please click here

 The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law. No matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the minimum wage.

The minimum wage rate varies depending on the worker’s age and if they are an apprentice. Workers must be of school leaving age (last Friday in June of the school year they turn 16) or over to get the minimum wage.

Contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding. The worker is still entitled to the minimum wage. Workers are also entitled to the minimum wage if they are:

  • Part-time
  • Casual labourers, eg someone hired for one day
  • Agency workers
  • Workers and homeworkers paid by the number of items they make
  • Apprentices
  • Trainees, workers on probation
  • Disabled workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Foreign workers
  • Seafarers
  • Offshore workers

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

•under 19
•over 19 and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Apprentices over 19 who have completed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the minimum wage rate for their age.

More information on National Living Wage available here

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, the current UK Living Wage is £9.50 an hour. The current London Living Wage is £10.85 an hour (March 2021).

Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis. The Living Wage Mark and Service Provider Recognition Scheme provide an ethical badge for responsible pay.

More information available here

 If you are interested in training and may require assistance with funding, then the following information on grants and funding assistance may be useful:

Post-16 travel

Those aged 16-19 might be eligible for council funded travel assistance. For more information or if you require any advice about travel to your training provider, click here to visit the Travel Assistance website for eligibility criteria and the Post 16 Travel Policy and Application Form.

The Snowdon Trust

Student in further/ higher education, or training and have a physical disability or sensory impairment , you may be eligible for grants might to help cover additional costs that are not covered by statutory funding, such as specialist software, accommodation, equipment and more. For more information phone 01403 732 899 or email

  • Big Local Works  provides essential Benefits and Welfare support and information. Offering a confidential service for support with Universal Credit, DLA, PIP, Freedom Pass, Benefit Tribunal hearings, and more. 

  • Contact provide telephone helpline and online advice about money and benefits.

  • Southwark Local Support team provides emergency support to vulnerable people (including severely disabled people), who are facing severe financial hardship   

  • Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help.