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Leaving care: Money and benefits

Find out what financial support you are entitled to when you leave care.

When you leave care you are entitled to financial support. This will be set out in your Pathway Plan and explained to you by your personal adviser (PA).

Your PA will help you learn about budgeting and how to access money you are entitled to.

Setting up home allowance

Your PA will also provide in your Pathway Plan a list of the things you can buy, and work with you to plan for what you will need.

You can receive up to:

  • £2000 towards things for your accommodation, such as a bed, sofa, fridge freezer and cooker
  • £300 towards health costs, such as glasses, dentistry or accessing medical appointments
  • £500 to help you with accessing education, training or employment. This could include course materials or books for a college course or uniform for a new job. We will also help you with transport costs for the first month when you start your first job.

Help with your first home

As well as your Setting Up Home Allowance to fund the items for your new home, the County Council may also help pay your deposit and first month’s rent. There may be other ways to get this, so your PA will work with you to find what's best for you. 

We will also make sure you have a suitcase, so you don’t have to move your belongings in bin bags. Someone can help you move; whether that’s your PA or a removals company will depend on how much you have to move.

Work and benefits

Your PA can help you to secure suitable employment. Some care leavers may not be ready or able to work and others may need support whilst they study.

Many factors affect which benefits you can apply for and the amount you’ll receive. Below are two benefit calculators to help you work out what you’re entitled to:

You may also be eligible to claim benefits such as:

Whilst you are waiting for any claim to be accepted, the Leaving Care Service may provide you with some financial support for up to four weeks; discuss this with your PA.

Managing your money

It is vital to budget your money and ensure you leave enough to cover your bills, buy food and toiletries. We cannot top up your benefits for you.

Your PA will support you with learning how to make your money last and encourage you to save when you can.

If you find yourself getting into debt, your PA will help you contact companies you owe money to and arrange a repayment plan that is affordable. Alternatively, they will introduce you to a debt advice service for help.

Last updated:
12 February 2018

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