Expecting or bringing up children

This page gives advice on help and benefits you may be entitled to.

Child Benefit

If you earn less than £50,000 Child Benefit is a tax-free payment that you can claim for your child. It is usually paid every four weeks but can sometimes be paid weekly. There are separate rates payable for each child. The payment can be claimed by anyone who qualifies, whatever their income or savings.  However if you earn over £50,000 you may have to pay additional tax.

Maternity Allowance

If you're pregnant or have a new baby but don't qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) from any employer, you may be able to claim Maternity Allowance (MA) through Jobcentre Plus

Child maintenance

Financial support for a child’s everyday living costs. The parent who doesn't have main day-to-day care of the child pays child maintenance to the parent or person who does have main day-to-day care.

Child Tax Credits

Tax credits are payments from the government. If you're responsible for at least one child or young person, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. You don’t have to be working.

Statutory Maternity Pay

To help you to take time off work before and after your baby is born, you may be able to get Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP). This is a payment from your employer.

Statutory Paternity Pay

When your wife, partner or civil partner gives birth or adopts a child, you may be entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP).

Statutory Adoption Pay

Statutory Adoption Pay is a payment you get from your employer to help take time off work when you adopt a child.

Working Tax Credits

Working Tax Credit is based on the hours you work and get paid for, or expect to be paid for. You can claim whether you're an employee or a self-employed person. But unpaid work doesn't count for Working Tax Credit.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

If you’re on a low income and getting certain benefits or tax credits, you could get a Sure Start Maternity Grant. This is a one-off payment to help towards the cost of maternity and baby items. The grant is tax free and you don’t have to repay it.

Healthy Start Scheme

The Healthy Start scheme provides: free vitamin supplements without a prescription and weekly vouchers that you can put towards the cost of milk, fresh fruit and vegetables or infant formula milk

Free School Meals

Local authorities must provide free school lunches for eligible pupils

School Transport

To help assist you in finding out about transport to school or college

Help with Health Costs

You may be able to get help with NHS health costs if for example you're on a low income.

Help with Pre-School Costs

If you are a working parent, lone parent or a student you may be entitled to extra help with the costs of early learning and childcare.

Emergency Assistance Scheme

As part of the Government’s welfare reforms, certain elements of the Social Fund (Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans) were abolished from April 2013. Councils have developed their own new schemes, which allow greater flexibility in developing a provision to suitable local needs. Find out more about Emergency AssistanCE scheme