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Money and finances for Care Leavers

Financial Support

As a Care Leaver, you may be eligible for the following financial support:

  • If you are 16 or 17, up to £57.90 per week up to the age of 18 if you live in semi-independent accommodation.
  • Contribution to equipment for work, training or education (to be requested via Personal Advisor)
  • Support to attend educational trips or activities (to be requested via Personal Advisor).
  • Parental contribution for University students, provided in instalments throughout the degree course (£2,250 a year)
  • Contribution for clothing for interviews, graduation (to be requested via your Personal Advisor)

Merton Council may also provide:

  • Up to £2,000 towards furnishing your accommodation (Setting Up Home Allowance (SUHA))
  • Birthday allowance up to the age of 21 years old.

Merton Council may provide you with financial support to obtain the following:

  • Birth certificates
  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Citizenship papers
  • Travel documents


In your 17th year, your social worker and the maximisation officer, based within the 14plus team, will be available to support you to make a claim for Universal Credit. You can apply for Universal Credit online.

The Leaving Care Service works closely with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Job Centre to support you with your benefits. There is a named worker in the Job Centre who can support Merton Care Leavers with their benefits.

You can apply up to six weeks in advance of their 18th birthday to ensure that you receive your benefits on time. Speak to your Personal Advisor (PA) to arrange this.

Claiming benefits can be daunting and stressful, but the best way to make sure you receive your benefit payments is to comply with the Job Centre. If you are having any difficulties with your benefits, speak to your PA.

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