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Changes to benefits when your child reaches adulthood

When a child reaches the age of 16, benefits including tax credits and Child Benefit will be affected. Other benefits may also be affected depending on whether your child continues in education post-16 and lives with you.

You must notify the Department for Work and Pensions and the Tax Credit Office if your child's circumstances change. This includes:

  • Staying in approved education and training after the age of 16.
  • Moving out of your home whether they are over 16 or younger than 16.

If you fail to notify the Government of changes promptly you may need to pay a fine.


If your child is aged 18 or over and is living with you, you may be subject to a non-dependent deduction from your housing benefit. This reduces the amount of housing benefit you receive as it expected that this person can contribute to your rent, even if they are not doing so.

More details about 'non-dependents' and housing benefit reductions is available from the Shelter website. Non-dependent status may also affect your Council Tax.

There may be other benefits and financial support you child may be eligible for depending on their age and circumstances. The Citizens Advice website summarises benefits eligibility for young people.

Help for young people

If your child is leaving home to start their own tenancy or is interested in other rental and home ownership options, a summary of housing options is available on the Orbit website. There is also useful information about managing household costs and other topics in the Moving in article.

The National Careers Service provides tailored guides for young people to help them plan their education and career journey.

Orbit can also provide help and advice about accessing training and improving employment prospects to young people living in a home provided by Orbit. We can also help with Kick Starting grants to help young people aged 24 and under. Contact us to find out more.



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