As a parent you are entitled to certain benefits. Your eligibility is dependent on your circumstances, but here are some of the family and child orientated benefits you may need to consider.
What is it? A tax-free benefit to help parents with the cost of caring for their children. It is payable for each child from birth until at least age 16.
Who gets it? Child Benefit is paid to people who are responsible for a child - usually the mother. It does not depend on your income or National Insurance contributions, but you must generally have been living in the United Kingdom for at least six months.
Web site: Child Benefits Information
Phone: 08701 555 540 - Child Benefit Helpline
Working Tax Credit
What is it? Working Tax Credit is designed to help people on low incomes whether they are employed or self-employed and can include support for qualifying childcare.
Who gets it? Nine out of ten families with children can get tax credits, but you don't need children to qualify for Working Tax Credit. Extra help is available for people working 30 or more hours per week, people with a disability, or people over 50 who recently returned to work after a period on benefit.
Web site: Inland Revenue - Tax Credits
Child Trust Fund
The Child Trust Fund (CTF) is a Government scheme aimed at encouraging people to save. Each child born from 1 September 2002 will get £250, which will go into a special savings account, called a Child Trust Fund. Families on low-incomes, who qualify for full Child Tax Credit, will receive £500.
The idea behind the CTF is that parents, family members and friends will be able to add to the money provided by the Government, but that the children will not be able to access the funds until they are 18 years old. They will then be able to use the money however they want to.
Web site: Inland Revenue - Child Trust Funds
In addition to these 'main stream' benefits, you may wish to consider the following...
New Deal for Lone Parents
If you are a lone parent and want to move off benefit into work or just want help finding work:
Web site: New Deal for Lone Parents
Child Support Maintenance
If you look after a child and one of the parents lives somewhere else in the United Kingdom, you may wish to consider this option...
Web site: Child Support Maintenance
Child Maintenance Bonus and Child Maintenance Premium
If you get child maintenance and your income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Income Support stops because of work, you may be entitled to some further support:
Web site: Child Support Maintenance
Home Responsibilities Protection
If you are unable to pay National Insurance (NI) contributions because you are bringing up a child under the age of 16, or are caring for someone, you may be able to get Home Responsibilities Protection. This will help protect your state pension, and may qualify you for extra money through a second state pension.
Web site: Home Responsibilities Protection
If you or your partner are serving abroad, the benefit rules are different from those that apply to your 'civilian' counterparts.
More Information: Welfare Benefits - Benefits Whilst Serving Abroad
More Information: Legal and Disciplinary Matters - Pregnancy
More Information: NPFS / RM Welfare
More Information: RNCom Helpdesk
The Department for Work and Pensions
Provides information and guidance in how to claim all types of benefit, including family and child-centred benefits.
Web site: Dept of Work & Pensions - Benefits Advise
Inland Revenue Tax Credit Helpline
For information about the Working Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.
Web site: Inland Revenue
Phone: 0845 300 3900 - Tax Credit Helpline