Who counts as a qualifying young person
A ‘qualifying young person’
is someone who:1s142(2) SSCBA 1992; regs 2-8 CB Regs
•is aged 16 and has left full-time non-advanced education (see below) or training. This only applies up to 31 August after her/his 16th birthday (but see below); or
is aged 16 or 17, has left education or training and satisfies the extension period rule (see here
is aged 16 or over but under 20 and is on a course of full-time non-advanced education (see below) not provided as a result of her/his employment, or approved training not provided under a contract of employment – ie, Traineeships or Foundation Apprenticeships in Wales, or a United Youth pilot (if started before 1 June 2017), PEACE IV Children and Young People or Training for Success programmes in Northern Ireland. Note:
there is currently no ‘approved training’ in England, so check whether your course counts as ‘full-time non-advanced education’ (see below).2Reg 1(3) CB Regs
The young person must have started the course or training before reaching 19, or have been accepted or enrolled on the course to undertake it before that age; or
is aged 16 or over but under 20 and has finished a course of full-time non-advanced education not provided as a result of her/his employment, or approved training not provided under a contract of employment, but is accepted or enrolled on another such course. Note:
if the course s/he has finished is an approved training course, this only applies if the following course is also approved training. Although someone must have started, or been accepted or enrolled on, the training or education when s/he was under 19 to be a qualifying young person once the course begins, the rules do not specify this for the gap between courses.3Reg 3 CB Regs
If the young person was accepted or enrolled after reaching age 19, you can argue that s/he is a qualifying young person from the end of the course until the next course begins; or
•is aged 16 or over but under 20 and is receiving ‘appropriate full-time education’ in England, which s/he started, or was enrolled or accepted on, before reaching 19. To count as ‘appropriate’, the course must be non-advanced and suitable for the person’s age, ability and any special needs s/he has; or
is aged 16 or over but under 20 and has left full-time non-advanced education (see below) or approved training but has not passed her/his terminal date (see here
Full-time non-advanced education
‘Full time’ is more than 12 hours a week of classes and supervised study during term time.
‘Non-advanced education‘ is anything below degree, Higher National Certificate or Higher National Diploma level, and includes school-level courses, national vocational qualification levels 1–3, GCSEs, AS levels, A levels and traineeships in England.
If your child counts as a qualifying young person on more than one of the above grounds, s/he counts as a qualifying young person until the last day that applies.4Reg 2(2) CB Regs
If you stop being entitled to child benefit for your child because s/he no longer counts as a qualifying young person, but s/he later satisfies one of the above conditions again and so counts as a qualifying young person once more, child benefit can again become payable for her/him. Note:
in some cases, you can continue to claim during such an interruption - eg, if the young person is ill or the gap is less than six months. In both cases, the interruption must be accepted as being reasonable.5Reg 6 CB Regs
Note: in the rest of this chapter, the term ‘child’ is used to mean both children under 16 and qualifying young people aged 16 or over.