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What Financial Support Is Available To Me?

It is nice to know that you have the support that you require, but it can also be difficult to establish what support is actually out there; especially with all of the new allowances coming in. You may or may not be aware of what financial support is readily accessible, so I have compiled a list of different schemes and financial support that is available for you. Some may or may not apply to you, but I hope they help you in some way.

Child Benefit.

If you have any children under the age of 16 you (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or on a training course).

You will usually receive £20.70 per week for your first child and £13.70 for any additional children.

Child Benefit is usually paid every 4 weeks on a Monday, but if you are an Independent mother you can receive child benefit weekly depending on whether you are in receipt of other benefits, for example Income Support.

Find out how to claim here.

Childcare Grant.

If you are in full-time education you can receive a Childcare Grant to pay for childcare costs for children under 17 if they have special needs and under 15.

The Childcare Grant is usually paid on top of your Student Loan and it is not required to be paid back.

What you will receive depends on your household income, the amount of children dependent on you and your childcare costs. You can receive up to 85% of your childcare costs.

2017 to 2018 academic year

The maximum you can get is:

  • up to £159.59 a week for 1 child

  • up to £273.60 a week for 2 or more children

2016 to 2017 academic year

The maximum you can get is:

  • up to £155.24 a week for 1 child

  • up to £266.15 a week for 2 or more children

Find out how to claim here.

Childcare Vouchers.

Your employer may be able to help you with approved childcare. If you are unsure, do not be afraid to ask. If you do not ask, you will never know and you could be missing out.

It is important to note that childcare vouchers may affect your entitlement to tax credits. On the other hand, you would not pay tax or national insurance for taking up to £55 a week of your wages as childcare vouchers.

What you actually receive will depend on the scheme and how much you earn.

Find out more here.

Child Tax Credit.

Similarly like Child Benefit if you have a child who is aged 16 or under (or under 20 and in approved education or on a training course) you can apply for child tax credit.

Child Tax Credit can be claimed regardless of your employment status and you can only apply for Child Tax Credit for children you are responsible for.

Child Tax Credit rates for the 2017 to 2018 tax year

Element Yearly amount

The basic amount (this is Up to £545

known as ‘the family


For each child (this is Up to £2,780

known as ‘the child


For each disabled Up to £3,175 (on

child top of the child)

Up to £1,290 (on

For each severely top of the child

disabled child element and the

disabled child element)

The amount of child tax credit you will receive is entirely dependent on your circumstances.

Child Tax Credit is usually paid weekly or every 4 weeks into a bank account.

Find out how to claim here.

Child Maintenance.

It is up to you if you decide to claim child maintenance. It is also important to note that although you are doing all of the hard work the other parent should contribute in some way to the upbringing of their child.

Child maintenance is financial support that contributes towards a child's living costs. The CMS work out how much the non-resident parent should be paying. They collect the payments and pay them to the 'receiving parent' - you.

Find out more here.

Council Tax Reduction.

You can apply to your local council for a reduction in your council tax.

Find out how to claim here.

Discretionary Learner Grant.

If you are over the age of 19 and in further education you can apply for a Discretionary Learner Grant to help you to pay for childcare (you must be 20 or over to get help with your childcare costs. If you are 19 you can apply for Care to Learn).

What you will get is decided by your educational establishment and will also depend on your circumstances.

Find out more here.

Healthy Start Vouchers.

If you have a child under 4 years old and if you are pregnant you can receive healthy start vouchers. Healthy start vouchers can be used towards fresh fruit and vegetables, infant formula and cow's milk.

You are also entitled to an NHS Medical Exemption card meaning you will have free prescriptions, free eyes tests and free dental treatment. You can also get free vitamins.

You may be eligble if you are in receipt of:

Income Support

Universal Credit

Child Tax Credit

or Jobseekers Allowance.

Find out how to claim here.

Help Paying For Childcare Costs.

You can receive help paying for approved childcare (a registered childminder, nursery, playscheme, club). The government introduced 15 and 30 hours free childcare for some 2 year old, 3 and 4 year old children.

If you receive certain benefits your 2 year old will be eligble for 15 hours free childcare. All 3 to 4-year-olds in England can get free early education or childcare.

15 hours free childcare means that all children in England receive 570 free hours in approved childcare per year. This is usually taken as 15 hours a week, you can choose to use less hours. This funding is available from the term after your child's 3rd birthday.

30 hours free childcare entitles your child to receive 1,140 hours per year and like the 15 hours free childcare, you can choose how to utilise the 30 hours.

Find out more here.

Housing Benefit.

You are entitled to claim housing benefit if you are on a low income and it usually pays for some of your rent or all of your rent. What you receive depends on your circumstances.

Find out how to claim here.

Income Support.

If you are currently unemployed or if you are working less than 16 hours a week you claim income support. Depending on your circumstances you could receive at least £57.90 a week.

If eligble you will be paid once every 2 weeks.

Personal allowance

Status Age Weekly payment

Single 16 to 24 £57.90

Single 25 or over £73.10

Lone parent 16 to 17 £57.90

Lone parent 18 or over £73.10

Couples Both under 18 £57.90

Couples Both under 18 - £87.50

‘higher rate’

Couples One under 18, £57.90

the other 18 to 24

Couples One under 18, £73.10

the other 25 or over

Couples One under 18,

one over - £114.85

‘higher rate’

Couples Both 18 or over £114.85

Find out how to claim here.

Jobseekers Allowance.

You can apply for Jobseekers Allowance to support you when you start to look for employment. You usually need to be at least 18 to apply for Jobseekers Allowance, but in some special circumstances you can be 16 or 17.

What you receive dependes on your age, income and savings.

Age JSA weekly amount

Up to 24 up to £57.90

25 or over up to £73.10

Couples (both aged over 18) up to £114.85

Jobseekers Allowance is paid once every two weeks.

Find out how to claim here.

Maternity Allowance.

If you do not qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay you can receive Maternity Allowance instead. What you will get depends on your eligibility.

Once you have been pregnant for 26 weeks you should claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you can. Payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.

Find out how to claim here.

Sure Start Maternity Grant.

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is available to help with purchasing essential items for your baby; cot, clothes, pushchair, cot sheets, car seat and so forth.

To qualify there must be no other children in your family and you should be in receipt of these benefits;

  • Income Support

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Pension Credit

  • Child Tax Credit

  • Working Tax Credit that includes a disability or severe disability element

  • Universal Credit

You will receive a one off payment of £500.

Find out how to claim here.

Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is to help with your living costs and plans to replace the following benefits;

Child Tax Credit

Housing Benefit

Income Support

Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance

Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance

Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is being introduced across the UK. It is paid on a monthly basis and depending on your circumstances you will receive a standard allowance and any other amounts that apply to you; you are a mother, if you require support with your rent and if you have a disability or health condition.

Standard allowance

Your circumstances Monthly standard allowance

Single and under 25 £251.77

Single and 25 or over £317.82

A Couple both under 25 £395.20 (for you both)

A Couple either of you are 25 or over £498.89 (for you both)

Extra amounts - You may get more money on top of your standard allowance if you’re eligible.

How much you’ll get Extra monthly amount

For your first child £277.08 (born before 6 April 2017)

£231.67 (born on or after 6 April 2017)

For your second child £231.67 per child

If you have a disabled £357.78 to £649.38 (this includes

or severely disabled child the amount for your first or second child)

If you need help with (up to £646.35 for one child

childcare costs up to and £1,108.04 for 2 or more children)

85% of your costs

Universal Credit is usually paid once a month.

For more information click here and to claim click here.

Widowed Parent's Allowance.

Widowed Parent's Allowance is dependent on when your partner died, your entitlement to Child Benefit, your late partners contributions to National Insurance and if you are under State Pension Age.

The maximum Widowed Parent's Allowance is £113.70 a week.

Find out how to claim here.

Working Tax Credit.

If you work a certain amount of hours a week and are on a low income you may be entitled to Working Tax Credit.

Hours you work

You must work a certain number of hours a week to qualify.

Circumstance Hours a week

Aged 25 to 59 At least 30 hours

Aged 60 or over At least 16 hours

Disabled At least 16 hours

Single with 1 or At least 16 hours

more children

Couple with 1 or Usually, at least 24 hours

more children between you (with 1 of

you working at least 16 hours)

What you'll get

How much you get depends on things like your circumstances and income.

Element Amount

You’re a couple Up to £2,010 a year

applying together

You’re a single parent Up to £2,010 a year

You work at least Up to £810 a year

30 hours a week

You have a Up to £3,000 a year


You have a Up to £1,290 a year

severe disability (usually on top of

the disability payment)

You pay for Up to £122.50 (1 child)

approved or £210 (2 or more children)

childcare a week

Working Tax Credit is paid weekly or every 4 weeks.

Find out how to claim here.

With Love,

Roxanne-Sasha x

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