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Qualifying children

Who is a child or qualifying young person for Universal Credit purposes?

Universal Credit will include the child element for all eligible children until: 

  • the end of August following each child’s 16th birthday or 

  • the end of August after each child’s 19th birthday if they are still living at home and taking a non-advanced course at school or college, or taking part in approved training


The education or training must have started before they reach 19, or they must have been enrolled or accepted to undertake that education or training before then. A person in receipt of Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, or Jobseeker’s Allowance in their own right is not a qualifying young person.

Child or Qualifying young person is aged 16 and over 

You must inform Universal Credit if your child is going to continue in fulltime, non-advanced education or approved training after the age of 16.  

When they reach the age of 16, you can amend the child’s details on your online account, it will ask further questions regarding education. 
This is so you can continue to receive the additional amount for child (and disabled child element if appropriate). 

Non-advanced education is study up to the standard of the following: 

  • GCSEs 

  • A levels or equivalent 

  • NVQ/SVQ level 1, 2 or 3 

  • BTEC National Diploma, Ordinary National Certificate and First Diploma 

  • Scottish Standard Grades 

  • Scottish Highers 

This is not a complete list. 


If your child does not remain in full-time non-advanced education or approved training, their child element will stop immediately. It's important you inform Universal Credit of this so you are not overpaid. In certain circumstances a person aged under 18 may be entitled to Universal Credit in their own right. (see Under 18s)

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