Children and family benefits
Information on financial support available for families
Child benefit is a payment that you can claim for your child. It is tax-free if you earn less than £50,000 per year. It's usually paid every four weeks but in some cases can be paid weekly.
The amount you get depends on how many children you have. Anyone who qualifies can claim Child Benefit, whatever their income or savings. Child Benefit is managed and paid by central government.
Child Tax Credit
If you have a new baby or you're responsible for any children under the age of 16 (or under 20 if they're in full-time education or approved training) you may be able to claim Child Tax Credit to help with the cost of looking after them.
However, from the 6th April 2017 most people will only be able to claim for up to 2 children if any of them are born after that date.
If you have a disabled child, you may be entitled to extra tax credit. Child Tax Credit is managed and paid by central government.
Child Tax Credit will eventually be replaced by Universal Credit.
Working Tax Credit
Parents who work at least 24 hours per week between them, with one person working at least 16 hours per week, can claim Working Tax Credit.
Lone parents only need to work 16 hours per week to qualify.
Working Tax Credit will eventually be replaced by Universal Credit
Help with childcare costs
If you're working and claim Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, you may qualify for help with childcare costs.
There are two main benefits available to expectant mothers who have been working before and/or during their pregnancy – Statutory Maternity Pay and Maternity Allowance. Which of these you may be entitled to depends on how long you were working and whether this was for the same or different employers.
Sure Start Maternity Payment
Expectant and new parents who get some means tested benefits can claim a Sure Start Maternity Payment of £500.
Adoption pay and leave
If you take time off work to adopt a child, you might be entitled to statutory adoption leave and statutory adoption pay.
Paternity leave and shared parental leave
The partner of someone who has just had a baby or adopted a child is entitled to one or two weeks paid paternity leave from work. Parents can also share time off work and statutory shared parental pay during the first 52 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child.
Families who have been getting income based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, income related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit for at least 26 weeks can apply for an interest free loan to cover the cost of essential items. This can be up to £812 and can be for items such as furniture, clothing, travel expenses.
You may also be entitled to
- Disability Living Allowance for children
- Carers' benefits
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Reduction
- Guardian's allowance on GOV.UK
- Income Support on GOV.UK
- Pension Credit on GOV.UK
- Universal Credit
Use our benefits calculator to find out about all the benefits and tax credits you may be able to claim.