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Children and family benefits

Children and family benefits

Information on financial support available for families

Child Benefit

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.

Find out more about Child Benefit on GOV.UK.

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.

Find out more about Child Tax Credit on GOV.UK.

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.

Find out more about Working Tax Credit on GOV.UK.

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.

Find out more about help with childcare costs on GOV.UK.

Maternity benefits

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.

Find out more about this and your entitlement to maternity leave on GOV.UK

Sure Start Maternity Payment

Expectant and new parents who get some means tested benefits can claim a Sure Start Maternity Payment of £500.

Find out more on GOV.UK.

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.

Find out more about adoption pay and leave on GOV.UK.

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.

Find out more about paternity pay and leave and shared parental leave on GOV.UK

Budgeting loans

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.

Find out more about budgeting loans on GOV.UK.

You may also be entitled to

More advice

Use our benefits calculator to find out about all the benefits and tax credits you may be able to claim.