1) Finance and Benefits: Disability Living Allowance, Direct Payments and Appointeeship - Transition Guide

There are some important changes to benefits when young people turn 16:

  • DLA (Disability Living Allowance) will finish at 16.  You will then need to apply for PIP (Personal Independence Payment).
  • the DWP will normally write to you are 15 years and seven months old. They will explain what will happen.  They will check if you have the mental capacity to manage your own benefit claims.  They will check if you will need an appointee to act on your behalf.
  • the DWP will follow this up with a second letter 3 months later.
  • the DWP will contact you shortly after your 16th birthday to ask you to claim PIP.

It is important to be aware that PIP is scored differently to DLA and the level may change. Contact have published a useful guide about claiming PIP. You can download it by clicking on the logo below.

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On turning 16, you are able to claim benefits like Universal Credit in your own right. If you stay in full-time non-advanced education or in types of training, parents can choose to carry on claiming for you as part of your family. (Non-advanced education includes GCSEs, A-levels, BTECs, NVQ levels 1-3)

You will need to think about which option is likely to leave your family better off. You can get help from Contact’s Benefits Advisers (0808 808 3555) or Citizen’s Advice Sheffield (03444 113 111).

Direct payments

Young people aged 16+ are also able to receive direct payments in their own right.  This is rather than this being managed by your parents or carers.  This is only if you receive direct payments.

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When you turn 16 you are usually expected to take on responsibility for any benefits you claim. If you are unable to manage your affairs, your parent/carer can become your ‘appointee’ for benefit claims.

Becoming an appointee means that your parents/carers are responsible for:

  • making any claims
  • giving any information needed
  • advising any changes that may affect your entitlement to benefits.

The benefits will be paid to your parent/carer on your behalf. It is important that they open a separate bank account for your benefits. Becoming an appointee for benefit reasons doesn’t mean they have any rights to deal with your other affairs. Click the logo below to find out more.

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If you don't have family who can act as an appointee

If you are unable to manage your own finances, then the local authority can arrange an independent financial appointee.  This is to help you manage your money.

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