Children and family benefits
Child Benefit is a payment that you can claim for your child. It's tax free if you earn less than £50,000 per year. It's usually paid every 4 weeks but can be paid weekly in some cases.
The amount you get depends on how many children you have. Anyone who qualifies can claim Child Benefit, whatever their income or savings. You may have to pay back some of your Child Benefit in tax if your (or your partner's) individual income is over £50,000.
Central government manages and pays for Child Benefit.
Find out more about Child Benefit on GOV.UK.
Universal Credit replaces most means tested benefits including tax credits.
Find out more about Universal Credit on GOV.UK.
If you have one or 2 children, you'll get an additional allowance for each child. If you have 3 or more children, you'll only get an additional allowance for the third child and any children after that if they were born before 6 April 2017. There are exceptions to this.
You'll get an extra amount for each disabled or severely disabled child, no matter how many children you have or when they were born.
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit
Most people can't make a new claim for Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit and must claim Universal Credit instead.
If you already receive tax credits you'll still get them, but if your circumstances change you might have to claim Universal Credit instead.
Find out more about tax credits on GOV.UK.
You can only make a new claim for tax credits if you:
- get the severe disability premium, or
- got the severe disability premium within the last month and you're still eligible for it
Find out more about the severe disability premium on GOV.UK.
Free school meals and Pupil Premium
If your child is eligible for free school meals their school can claim extra funding called Pupil Premium.
Find out more about Pupil Premium.
Early Years Pupil Premium
Find out how you could help your childcare provider claim extra funding if you get certain benefits.
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.
The 2 main benefits available to expectant mothers working before or during their pregnancy are:
Which benefit you can claim depends on how long you've been working for your current employer.
Find out more about maternity pay on GOV.UK.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
If you're an expectant or new parent who gets some means tested benefits you can claim a Sure Start Maternity Grant of £500 to help with the costs of a new baby.
Find out more about Maternity Grants on GOV.UK.
Healthy Start scheme
If you're pregnant or have a child under the age of 4 the Healthy Start scheme can help you buy basic food like fruit or milk.
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
If you're the partner of someone who has just had a baby or adopted a child, you're entitled to 1 or 2 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 on GOV.UK.
You can apply for an interest-free loan to cover the cost of essential items if you've been getting any of these for at least 26 weeks:
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
This can be up to £812 for items such as:
- travel expenses
Find out about budgeting loans on GOV.UK.
Universal Credit advance
If you've been receiving Universal Credit for the past 6 months and haven't earned more than £2,600 (or £3,600 jointly for couples) you can apply for a Universal Credit advance. This can be up to £812 for items such as:
- travel expenses
The advance payment is a loan and you usually have to repay it over 12 months out of your ongoing funds. You may not get an advance if you have other sources of funds or you're already repaying an existing advance payment.
Find out about Universal Credit advances on GOV.UK.
Specified Adult Childcare credits
You could claim Specified Adult Childcare credits if you're under state pension age and are a grandparent or family member caring for a child under 12 years old.
Find out more about Specified Adult Childcare credits.
If you are over State Pension age you won't be able to claim Universal Credit. If you're a carer or responsible for a child or young person you may be entitled to an extra amount of Pension Credit.
Find out more about Pension Credit on GOV.UK.
You may also be entitled to other benefits
You may also be entitled to:
Read more about financial help if you have children.