Single Parent FAQs: What happens when my child gets older – Issue 27


Our advice and information team who work on our Lone Parent Helpline, webchat and Ask a Question feature, receive questions from single parents around Scotland every day.

What happens when children get older is something we receive a lot of questions on. See some of the questions received on this below.

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Take a look at the FAQ's

My son has just turned 16 in January and my child benefit was due and it’s not been paid into my account, my son is till at school so I thought the child benefit would continue.

Child benefit should continue for your son, you can contact HMRC and let them know that he is still at school.

See more information.

My ex-partner wants to pay child maintenance for our two children, but I can’t rely on him I would prefer to keep my benefits I don’t want the child maintenance payments to reduce my benefit income.

Child maintenance payments are disregarded for benefits and will not reduce your benefit income.

I’m really worried what I’m going to do when my youngest leaves school soon and my tax credits, child benefit and housing benefits are all going to be stopping. Is there anything I can claim?

Depending on your circumstances you may be able to claim universal credit, get in touch with us and we can do a calculation and see if you are entitled to any other benefits.

Talk with us.

16 year old daughter has been offered a job 8 hours per week whilst still at school, if she takes this job will this lower my benefit entitlement?

No, your daughter working part-time whilst at school will not reduce your benefits, they will all remain the same.

Daughter is 16 years old and has been having a terrible time at school and really doesn’t know what she wants to do, she would like to leave school but doesn’t have a college course or a job or anything. Can I continue to claim benefits for her until she finds out what she wants to do?

If your child is 16 or over, a temporary break from education can be ignored for up to 6 months. You would continue to receive Child Benefit during this period if HMRC considers the reasons for the break are reasonable and that your child will return to education. Child Benefit can be paid for breaks longer than 6 months if the break is due to physical or mental ill health. Child Benefit will stop for breaks over 6 months, unless it’s for health reasons, but you can ask for it to be paid again if your child returns to education or training before their 19th birthday.

My son is going into 5th year after the summer holidays and will be 16, my older son got Education Maintenance Allowance is this still something that can be applied for?

Depending on your income he may be able to claim Education Maintenance Allowances (EMA) which give financial support to eligible 16 to 19 year olds who want to continue learning. 
EMA is a weekly payment of £30, paid every 2 weeks in arrears. More information and how to apply can be found here .

Oldest child has applied to university and is in 6th year at the moment, will child maintenance just continue at the same rate? My son won’t be staying in student accommodation he will continue to live at home.

Child maintenance usually stops when child benefit stops, however you could talk to your ex partner and see if they can continue to pay some contribution to you to help with the costs. 

When my daughter leaves school and goes to college to do a HNC will I lose my single person rebate from council tax?

You will continue to receive your Single Person Discount for council tax, full time students are exempt from council tax so you will continue to receive this your local council tax office may ask to see evidence of this which can be provided by the college.

My son is going to be finished his course at college and he has been offered a job when he finishes college in June so will be working full time, I’m worried how this is going to affect my benefits.

Get in touch with us and we can work this out for you, for benefit purposes this is called a non-dependant deduction and it may affect your benefits.

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