Your finances

Essex Leaving and After Care Service have a benefits adviser who can offer advice and support and produces a Finance Handbook which is updated annually.

Included in this Handbook is information about the financial support that the Leaving and After Care service may provide to you in specific circumstances, including:

  • separated migrant young people
  • young people in further education (College)
  • young people in higher education (University)
  • post-graduate study
  • training and apprenticeships
  • young people seeking work
  • young people who are sick or disabled
  • young parents and pregnant women
  • rent deposits/rent in advance/rent guarantee
  • setting up home grant
  • Christmas/festival/birthday gifts
  • clothing allowance
  • travel documents
  • transition payments
  • payments and emergencies
  • staying put
  • driving lessons

The Handbook also provides information about additional financial support that is offered to care leavers by other agencies, including:

  • council tax exemption offered by local councils
  • student loans and bursaries offered by Universities and Student Finance England
  • benefit entitlements for care leavers, such as Universal Credit and Housing Costs
  • NHS health costs
  • free meals in further education
  • Healthy Start Vouchers, Child Benefit and Maternity Grant for care leavers who are pregnant and / or parents

Support with finances

We will support you to:

  • make a budget plan
  • open a bank account and give you advice on savings
  • give you information on how to access your Junior ISA, if you have one (a fund of money set aside by the government and the council)
  • provide a setting up home leaving care grant of £2000
  • provide money management advice

We can also help you with making a claim for benefits. There are dedicated advisers within the Jobcentre Plus who work with care leavers (these are called Single Points of Contact or SPOCs).

A claim for Universal Credit can be made up to 21 days in advance of your 18th birthday if you are a care leaver. Your personal adviser will help you with this.

Watch a video about Universal Credit claims on YouTube


You can find out more about student finance on the GOV.UK site.

You can also learn about and apply for benefits on GOV.UK.