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LCS Leaving Care Services
Financial entitlements

EligibleRelevantFormer relevantQualifying

A guide to care leaver financial entitlements

Transport Allowance:
Up to weekly bus pass rate:
Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Care Leavers living in semi-independent and independent
accommodation who are in education, employment or training, provided they are not entitled to travel
expenses through their college or employer and are not within a reasonable distance from their college or
work place are entitled to the current weekly bus pass rate per week.

Birthday Allowance:
16/17 - £80
18 - £100
19-21 - £25
(£20 postal order and remainder to be saved for on release if in custody).

All Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Care Leavers up to and including their 21st Birthday when living
in semi-independent, independent accommodation or living with family members are entitled to a birthday
allowance or gift equivalent as above. If serving a remand or custodial sentence you will receive a £20
postal order.

Festival Allowance:
16/17 - £100
18-21 - £25 or gift equivalent
(£20 postal order and remainder to be saved for on release if in custody)
All Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Care Leavers up to 21years old when living in semi-independent,
independent accommodation or living with family members are entitled to a festival allowance or gift
equivalent as set out above. Festival allowance can be paid in accordance with festival dates of your choosing, i.e. Christmas, Eid or Hanukkah etc. If serving a remand or custodial sentence you will receive a £20 postal order and the remaining balance will be saved for you on release.

Housing Allowance:
Needs led assessment
To be assessed on an individual basis and requiring authorisation by the Head of Service.
Leaving Care Grant:
Up to £2000 - Needs Led Assessment
Relevant and Former Relevant Care Leavers will be supported with up to £2000 towards setting up home.
Agreement is required from your Personal Advisor for use of your Leaving Care Grant prior to purchasing
any items. Wherever possible your Personal Advisor will arrange payment and delivery. If you plan to leave a supported living arrangement after the age of 21 your Leaving Care Grant will remain available to you for a maximum of 12months after your 21st birthday (or 12months after you have left University over the age of 21).

Clothing Allowance:
Up to £75 every 3months – Needs led Assessment
All Eligible and Relevant Care Leavers in semi-independent accommodation are entitled to a clothing
allowance as set out above. Agreement must be provided from your Personal Advisor prior to any purchase.

Holiday Allowance:
E/R Up to £450 per year - Requires advanced notice and risk assessment
All Eligible and Relevant Care Leavers in semi-independent accommodation and Former Relevant Care Leavers in Continuing Care placements are entitled to an annual Holiday allowance of up to £450. All requests for travel need to be provided with advance notice with approval required from a Senior Manager.

16 to 19 Bursary Fund:
Up to £1,200. Paid via the education provider in weekly instalments.
The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is to support 16 to 19 year olds who are the most financially disadvantaged and those who most need help with the costs of staying in education. Students aged over 19 can apply for the discretionary bursary if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or are continuing on a course they started aged between 16 and 18 (a ‘19+ continuer’).

Who can apply for a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund?
The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation
so they can remain in education.
There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursaries:
• bursaries for defined vulnerable groups of up to £1,200 a year
• discretionary bursaries which institutions award to meet individual needs, for example, help with the cost
of transport, meals, books and equipment

Discretionary bursary
Discretionary bursaries are awards made by institutions to individual students. They are designed to overcome the individual barriers to participation a student faces.
Institutions decide which students get a discretionary bursary and how much they will get. However, they
should target students who cannot stay in education without financial help for things such as:
• Transport
• Meals
• Books
• Equipment

Institutions should assess the help each student needs on an individual basis and not make blanket or flat rate payments to all students.Bursaries for vulnerable groups Students in one or more of the groups below can apply for a bursary of up to £1,200. Institutions do not receive an allocation of funds for bursaries for vulnerable groups. They draw down the funds by submitting a funding claim form via the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) portal.
The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:
• in care
• care leavers
• receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves or
financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as
a child or partner
• receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as
Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right
Institutions must verify that young people meet the criteria for the bursary for vulnerable groups.
Funding claims for bursaries for vulnerable groups in the 2018 to 2019 academic year are available online from August 2018 via the SBSS portal.
Information for institutions
We have published information to help institutions which includes:
• the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide for the 2018 to 2019 academic year. The guide provides an overview of
the general rules and principles underpinning the use of the fund
• an audit guide to help local authorities gain assurance that institutions are administering the 16 to 19
Bursary Fund correctly
• there is also a Young people’s guide to the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund
College Equipment:
Discretionary Payment up to £200 – Needs led assessment
If the care leaver’s bursary (above) is unable to be accessed, all Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Care
Leavers may be able to access up to £200 towards college equipment based on a needs led assessment and
agreement from the Service Manager.

Up to 10 Driving Lessons:
Discretionary Payment requires Head of Service agreement
From age 17 all Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Care Leavers can request funding for up to 10 Driving
lessons. Agreement is linked to employment, education and training engagement and offered up to 10 lessons with evidence a young person is seeking to fund further lessons through part time employment of having saved towards lessons.
Celebrating Success Free Driving Lessons:
Limited Number available via Corporate Parenting Board and based on the good will gesture of local Driving
Instructors. Candidates will be put forward in recognition of celebrating their successes.

All Care Leavers in Education or Training are entitled to a laptop, need to be evidenced in a Personal Education
Plan or Pathway Plan – Discretionary payment requires Head of Service agreement.

Passport, Driving Licence or Travel Document
Social Workers are to ensure that all Looked after Children have a passport. The Leaving Care Service will
ensure all Eligible, Relevant and Former Relevant Care Leavers have a current Passport or Provisional Driving
Licence as a means of identification. All Care Leavers will be supported to open a current bank account.

Sure Start Maternity Grant:
All Care Leavers who are expectant mothers will be supported to complete a Sure Start Maternity Grant form where they can access up to £500 towards unborn child’s needs.

Healthy Start Vouchers:
All Care Leavers who are expectant mothers will be supported to apply for Healthy Start Vouchers towards the purchase of healthy foods.

Personal Allowance:
£58.90 weekly
All Eligible and Relevant Care Leavers living semi-independently will receive Personal Allowance. Wherever
possible this will be paid directly in to your bank account, however if you are not in education, training or
employment and when it is accessible you will be required to attend Clarence Arcade for your payments as
scheduled by your Personal Advisor. If detained in custody Care Leavers will receive £10 weekly personal
allowance by way of postal order. Whilst under 18 and as an Eligible or Relevant Care Leavers you cannot claim Universal Credit. If you are not in employment your Personal Advisor can support you to make an initial benefit claim on your 18th Birthday. Once your claim has been made you will receive weekly support until receipt of your first benefits payment as

• First 5 weeks at £58.90
• Following 5 weeks:
• Semi Independent- £15 food voucher and £10 utilities
• Own tenancy -£15 food voucher and £15 utilities
• Supported Lodgings or extended family (not parents) - £25
• Supported Living Accommodation - £15 food voucher
• Thereafter food parcels or referral to local food banks will be offered.
If experiencing hardship then please contact your Personal Advisor at the earliest opportunity. Your Personal
Advisor will be able to support you to complete a budget plan and can advise on accessing support from Job
Centre Plus and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

University and Higher Education
We have a dedicated Higher Education Personal Advisor to support you in every aspect of your Higher Education and University pathway, from supporting your UCAS application through to when you complete
your studies. The Leaving Care Service will fund the cost of student accommodation for the duration of all undergraduate studies. Accommodation will need to be assessed as in line with standard university accommodation for the area. Care Leavers in Higher Education will be provided up to £250 per year towards books and equipment and additional help towards travel costs in term time. Care Leavers in Higher Education will also be supported to secure suitable accommodation during non-term time.
All Care Leavers in Higher Education will receive a bursary of £2000.
£500 - 1st Year
£500 - 2nd Year
£1000 - 3rd year
Any additional years study will not receive bursary payments as total amount capped at £2000. Payments will be made in the June of each academic year; evidence of progression will be required prior to
payments being made. Payments will be made to support Graduation costs up to £150 All entitlements are subject to change and remain discretionary.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Care Leavers Joint Protocol
A joint working protocol with DWP has been developed to ensure all Care leavers in Tameside are able
to make timely benefits claims and have access to a dedicated Personal Advisors at Job Centre Plus. By
closely working alongside the DWP, the Leaving Care Service are seeking to avoid Care Leavers receiving
benefit sanctions and with the main aim of ensuring our Care Leavers can access and engage in Education,
Employment and Training. As part of our working protocol with DWP, you may be able to receive financial support for clothing and shoes for job interviews. If you wish to see the DWP Joint Protocol in full or require further information please ask your Social Worker of Young Person’s Support and Advice Worker.

Post 18 Benefits
Care leavers may be able to apply for a range of state benefits and allowances. Some benefits, but not all of
them such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will be taken into account when calculating the level of
financial support that you receive from the Leaving Care Service. Your Personal Advisor will help you to claim any benefits and allowances that you are entitled to receive. The Leaving Care Service have regular communication and links to the Troubled Families Advisors at DWP Job Centre plus, who is available to offer further advice and assistance and aid the claims process.

We work with partners to deliver workshops and one to one appointments in a fun, interactive way at partner’s offices, community centres and at our offices. The sessions cover budgeting, preparing for Universal Credit, priority and non-priority payments, signposting to other partners for support and digital inclusion and clients take away information for future reference. The Digital inclusion includes preparing for UC i.e. ensuring clients have email address, understand about their journal and online job search. If clients request support regarding utilities we show them sites to compare and how to switch. Our service is about building confidence rather than advising, therefore if they do need this service e.g. debt or others, we refer them to the relevant agency to support. Clients can also self-refer for an appointment, or to the workshops.

Apprenticeship Funding
Care leavers who choose to start an apprenticeship will receive a £1000 bursary to help the transition into the workplace. The £1,000 bursary will be paid once to each care leaver in the eligible age range, when they start an apprenticeship after 1 August 2018. This comes in addition to the £1,000 provided to both employers and training providers when they take on 16 to 18 year olds or 19 to 24 year olds who were in care or who have an Education, Health and Care plan. Payments will be made via the training provider.

Bank Accounts and Credit Union
As a Care Leaver you will be supported to open a bank account by your Social Worker or Personal Advisor who will ensure you have the necessary ID and a supporting letter in order for you to do this. A payment schedule of your entitlements will be confirmed prior to entitlements being paid directly in to your account. The Local Authority may choose to make direct cash payments to you where there are concerns around budgeting or risky behaviours. Payments can be made to all high street banks and we recommend you shop around for the best offer when identifying a bank, we also strongly recommend you consider opening an account with Credit Union:
• Credit Union recommends use of their Engage account. The fee for this account is £2 per month.
• The Engage account links directly to an Instant Access Savings account with £5 per month being
automatically transferred. Access to your savings requires a withdrawal form being taken in to a Credit
Union Cash Box office or via a scanned request. This is a great opportunity to start saving money for the
• Cash withdrawals from Engage Accounts at ATS machines are charged at 50p for all transactions. Cash
back is free of charge but by its nature is only accessible alongside a purchase.

Groundwork: Financial advice and support for Tameside Care Leavers
Groundwork is starting a new programme of financial capability support in March 2019 for Tameside Care
Leavers aged 18-30, funded through the Natwest Skills and Opportunities Fund, as part of our Care to Work
programme. Financial capability training sessions will be provided for young adults on a 1-2-1 basis to increase awareness and confidence in money management skills in readiness for starting work such as personal budgeting, fraud awareness, understanding salary payments and deductions, bills and payment options and where to access further support. Where appropriate young people will also be referred to receive support from Groundwork EnergyWorks team around home energy assessment and measures to increase fuel efficiency and reduce energy bills. The Project Lead, Vickie Chalmers will be available at Clarence Arcade from Monday 4th March 2019 for drop
in sessions between 12-4pm.


Contact information

Send us a message
0161 342 3168
The Leaving Care Service
Clarence Arcade
Stamford Street
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