Child and family benefits

You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is under 16 or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training. Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. It’s paid every 4 weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for.

Find out more about Child Benefit and apply online.  

Call free on 0800 182 2222 if you want to apply by phone, request a large print paper form or to apply in a different language.

Find out more and apply for Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods payments.

A weekly payment of £10 that you can get for every child you look after who's under 6 years of age.

Find out more the about Scottish Child Payment.

or by filling in a paper form. - dont think we should include this as if people can access the website they can apply online?

Call free on 0800 182 2222 if you want to apply by phone, request a large print paper form or to apply in a different language.

Tax free childcare

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

Find out more about tax free childcare 

Tax Credits for Childcare

You may be entitled to help with childcare costs in your Working Tax Credit.

Tax Credits have now been replaced with Universal Credit (UC) for most new claims. If you are already receiving Working Tax Credit you will be able to add the childcare element to your claim. You can also start to get Working Tax Credit if you already get Child Tax Credit.

Find out more about tax credits for childcare.

Find out more about childcare costs and working tax credits.

Universal Credit Childcare Costs

You may be able to claim up to 85%  of your childcare costs if you’re eligible for Universal Credit and meet some additional conditions.

Find out more about Universal Credit Childcare Costs

Pupils are eligible for free school meals if their parents or carers receive certain benefits.

Find out more and apply for free school meals.

We can, in some circumstances, provide a grant towards the costs of school clothing and footwear if you receive certain benefits.

Find out more and apply for a school clothing grant.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get:

  • 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks
  • £151.97 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

SMP is paid in the same way as your wages (for example monthly or weekly). Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

Find out more and apply for Statutory Maternity Pay.

If you’re not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay you may be eligible for Maternity Allowance.  Find out more about Maternity Allowance.

 

When you take time off because your partner’s having a baby, adopting a child or having a baby through a surrogacy arrangement you might be eligible for 1 or 2 weeks’ paid Paternity Leave, Paternity Pay, Shared Parental Leave and Pay. You may not get both leave and pay, and there are rules on how to claim and when your leave can start.

Find out more and apply for Statutory Paternity Pay.

When you take time off to adopt a child or have a child through a surrogacy arrangement you might be eligible for Statutory Adoption Leave, Statutory Adoption Pay.

There are rules on when and how to claim your paid leave and if you want to change your dates. You may also be eligible to take Shared Parental Leave and Pay.

Find out more and apply for Statutory Adoption Pay.

You and your partner may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child. You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you. You need to share the pay and leave in the first year after your child is born or placed with your family.

Find out more and apply for Statutory Parental Pay

Maternity Allowance is a payment you can get when you take time off to have a baby.

You could get it if you:

are employed but cannot get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

are self-employed

have recently stopped working

take part in unpaid work for the business of your spouse or civil partner

You can get Maternity Allowance for up to 39 weeks.

You can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you’ve been pregnant for 26 weeks. Payments can start up to 11 weeks before your baby is due.
 

You can only make a claim for Child Tax Credit if you already get Working Tax Credit. 

You can only make a claim for Working Tax Credit if you already get Child Tax Credit.

If you cannot apply for Working or Child Tax Credit, you can apply for Universal Credit instead. You might be able to apply for Pension Credit if you and your partner are State Pension age or over.

To claim Working or Child Tax Credit, update your existing tax credit claim by reporting a change in your circumstances online or by phone.

Find out more about Tax Credits.

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