HC Deb 06 November 2000 vol 356 cc94-5W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what benefit entitlement there is for 16 to 18-year-olds in education in special schools in respect of(a) the pupil and (b) the pupil's parents; and if he will make a statement. [135537]

Angela Eagle

Child Benefit is normally payable to the parents of all young people who remain in relevant education until they leave school or until their 19th birthday if this comes first. For the purposes of benefit entitlement relevant education means non advanced education, usually up to A level standard and includes special schools.

Entitlement to other benefits for 16 to 18-year-olds in relevant education, (whether or not they are in special schools), and their parents, will depend on their circumstances.

Those parents entitled to one or more of the income related benefits of Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income Based), Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Benefit, may include the young person in their claim as a dependant, and the relevant child personal allowance and premiums will be included in the assessment.

In certain instances, young people may claim Income Support in their own right, while continuing with their studies at school. These include those who are lone parents, young people who are severely mentally or physically handicapped, those who necessarily live away from their parents, and those who are estranged from their parents. Child Benefit ceases to be paid for young people who claim in their own right.

Young people who, because of a severe mental or physical disability need help with personal care or mobility for at least three months, and are likely to continue to need help for a further six months or more, may qualify for Disability Living Allowance, regardless of their parents' circumstances. In addition they may also qualify for Severe Disablement Allowance.

A parent who spends at least 35 hours a week caring for a young person who gets Disability Living allowance may claim Invalid Care Allowance.