Universal Credits

Information updated 16/04/2019

We can not take responsibility for the accuracy of this information as Universal credit changes happen quickly and often quietly so please clarify the below information if in doubt. 

Home educators are tied to the same rules as a schooled family, you will be expected to work. However the job centre are not allowed to tell you to use school as a child care option. We suggest not mentioning home education to the JC as we hear all too often people have their claims cancelled, or extra demands placed on them.  You can look for evening work or daytime work etc, what ever suits you the best. There are home ed friendly child minders out there too.

We have not mentioned Child Benefit  in the below comparisons as this is not affected by the changes. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit come under the wing of UC however we have not included these to try and keep this simple.


We asked for clarification of the rules, we take the following to mean that yes home educators can claim UC for under 16’s as they are children and place of education has no effect on UC. Post 16 also entitles you to claim UC as home education is an approved educational option. We would suggest you use terms like full-time, supervised, non-advanced study when describing the provision.


Thank you for your Freedom of Information (FoI) request received on 16 March. You asked:
Could you please confirm that parents of children under 16 who are home educated (full time, non-advanced, supervised study) can still claim universal credits on the basis of having a child in education?
Can you also confirm that parents of 16-19 year olds who are home educated (full time, supervised, non-advanced study) at gcse and Alevel level and were home educated prior to turning 16 can claim universal credits on the grounds of having a child in full time education?

DWP Response:
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request…
A child is defined in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 as a person under the age of 16. In order to qualify for the additional amount for a child in Universal credit (UC) the claimant must be responsible for a child or a qualifying young person.
Current UC regulations have no educational conditions to receive the child amount for a person under the age of 16.

A person who has reached the age of 16 but not the age of 20 is a qualifying young person if they satisfy the conditions in Regulation 5(1)(2)(3)(4)(5) of the UC Regulations 2013.
In order to qualify for the child amount in UC the qualifying young person, must be enrolled on, or accepted for, approved training or a course of education, which is provided at a school or college or provided elsewhere but approved by the Secretary of State and where the average time spent during term time in receiving tuition, engaging in practical work or supervised study or taking examination exceeds 12 hours per week.

Yours sincerely,
Policy Group FoI Team




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