Cost of Living | Money | New Parent

Financial Benefits You May Be Entitled To

In this article, we look at financial benefits you may be entitled to

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Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance is a payment to help with the extra costs of daily living or getting about because your child has a long-term health condition or disability.

Who can claim?
  • People with children under 3 months, who might have 12 months or less to live*
  • People with children aged from 3 months to 16 years, who need extra help with daily living tasks
  • People with children aged from 3 years to 16 years, who need help with mobility.

* If a child is likely to have less than 12 months to live, they can make a fast-tracked claim and apply under ‘The Special Rules’. To find out more about this, click here.

DLA is not means-tested, which means you can claim the benefit for your child regardless of your income or how much you have in savings.

If you live in Scotland, the Child Disability Payment replaces DLA. For further details, click here.

How much?

You could get between  £28.70 and £184.30 a week, depending on your child’s needs.

Further information

You can watch Contact’s short introduction videos to find out more about DLA here, they  available in English, العربية, Polski, and Soomaalida.

You can get further information on the Disability Living Allowance and how to apply on the Gov.uk website.

If your child continues to need extra help with daily living tasks or mobility once they turn 16, they may be entitled to Personal Independence Payments (PIP). The benefit remains non-means tested.

Carers Allowance

Carers allowance is money to help you look after someone you care for, including your child.  You do not have to be related to the person to be able to claim.

Who can claim?

If you are spending 35 hours or more a week caring for another person you may be entitled to make a claim. The person will need to be receiving the middle or higher rate component of DLA or PIP to qualify.

How much?

You can get up to £81.90 per week, which can be paid weekly or every 4 weeks.

If you live in Scotland, carers may also be entitled to a supplementary payment.

Further Information

You can get further information on Carers Allowance and how to apply here.

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is money paid to all parents or other people who are responsible for bringing up children.

Who can claim?
  • People with children under 16 years
  • People with children under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

Only one parent or guardian can claim the benefit per child. It is not means-tested, which means you can claim the benefit for your child regardless of your income or how much you have in savings.

How much?
  • For one child or your eldest child, you will receive £25.60 per week
  • For any additional children, you will receive £16.95 per week

Payments are usually made every 4 weeks, but you can ask for weekly payments if you are a single parent or in receipt of certain other benefits, including Universal Credit.

Any Child Benefit payments you get will count towards the benefit cap. If you’re affected by the cap, you’ll still get the full amount for your Child Benefit payments but your other benefits may be reduced.

Further Information

You can get further information on Child Benefit here.

Child Tax Credit

Child Tax credit is paid to people to help with the costs of bringing up a child, including enhanced costs for children with disabilities.

Who can claim?

You can claim for children you are responsible for, but you need to already be claiming Working Tax Credits to apply for Child Tax Credit. New claims have been replaced by Universal Credit (scroll down for further information on Universal Credit).

How much?

The amount you can get depends on how many children you have, whether you are making a new claim for Child Tax Credit and if you are already claiming Child Tax Credit:

  • The basic amount (known as ‘the family element’) is up to £545
  • For each child (known as ‘the child element’) is up to £3,455
  • For each disabled child, you can up to £4,170 (on top of the child element)
  • For each severely disabled child, you can up to £1,680 (on top of the child element and the disabled child element

Child Tax credit is automatically paid every 4 weeks, but you can ask for it to be paid weekly instead.

Further Information

You can get further information on Child Tax Credit here.

Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

ESA is a benefit paid to people who have a disability or health condition that affects how much they can work. You can either claim income-related ESA (claim based on your current income and savings), or contribution-related ESA (claim based on national insurance contributions you have paid while working).

Who can claim?

You can claim whether you are in or out of work and:

How much?

How much you get will depend on several factors, including your age, the nature of illness or disability, and the likelihood of returning to work. You will normally get the assessment rate (for 13 weeks) while your claim is being assessed.

The assessment rate is:

  • Up to £71.70 a week if you are under 25
  • Up to £90.50 a week if you are 25 or over

Your ESA will be backdated if you’re owed any money after 13 weeks.

After you are assessed:

You’ll be placed into one of 2 groups, the work-related group if you can go back to work in the future, or, the support group if you are not able to return to work.

  • Up to £90.50 a week if you are in the work-related group
  • Up to £138.20 a week if you are in the support group
Further Information

You can also apply for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on income-related ESA for at least 6 months.

You can get further information on ESA here

Universal Credit (UC)

Universal Credit is a payment to support you with living costs if you are on a low income or out of work.

Universal Credit is paid monthly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or twice a month for some people in Scotland.

Who can claim?

You can make a claim if you are in work (full or part-time), out of work or unable to work because of a health condition. To claim UC, you must:

How much?

How much you get depends on your personal circumstances, including how much you earn.

The standard monthly allowance is:

  • £311.68 a month for single claimants under 25
  • £393.45 a month for single claimants aged 25 or over
  • £489.23 a month for joint claimants both under 25
  • £617.60 a month for joint claimants with either aged 25 or over.

If you have children:

You may get an extra amount for your first and second child.

  • £333.33 a month for your first or only child born before 6 April 2017
  • £287.92 a month per child in all other circumstances.

You may get an extra amount if any of your children are disabled. You’re eligible for this extra amount no matter how many children you have.

  • £156.11 a month per child currently getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or PIP (Personal Independence Payment).
  • £487.58 a month per child if they get the highest rate of the DLA care component, enhanced rate of PIP for daily living, or are registered blind.

Childcare costs

You may be able to claim back up to 85% of your childcare costs if:

  • You are working
  • If you live with your partner both of you need to be working, unless one of you is unable to work due to a disability or health condition.

The childcare needs to be from a registered provider. You can get help paying for childcare including nurseries, childminders, breakfast clubs, after-school care and holiday clubs.

The most you can get each month is:

  • One Child, £1,014.63
  • Two or more children, £1,739.37

You need to pay your childcare costs up front and claim the money back as part of your payment. If you need to have payments upfront you can discuss this with your Work Coach after you have made your claim.

If you have a disability or health condition

  • If you have limited capability for work, £416.19
  • If you have limited capability for work and you started your health-related Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claim before 3 April 2017, £156.11

If you care for someone who gets a health or disability-related benefit

  • If you provide care for at least 35 hours a week for someone who gets a health or disability-related benefit, £198.31

This is on top of any extra amount you get if you have a disabled child.

Further Information

You can get further information on Universal Credit here

Universal Credit Housing Element

Universal Credit has now replaced Housing Benefit for new claims for help with housing costs. A housing payment can help you pay rent to a private landlord, rent and some service charges if you rent from a housing association or local authority, or interest payments on your mortgage and some service charges if you or your partner own the property you live in.

Who can claim?

If you are on a low income and need help with paying your rent or mortgage, you might be able to claim the housing costs element of Universal Credit.

How much?

The amount you will receive will depend on several factors, including number of people in the household, rent or mortgage payment costs, and the local housing allowance.

Further Information

You can get further information on Housing costs and Universal Credit and how to apply here.

Council Tax Reduction

Council tax reduction is a benefit to help people who are on a low income or claiming certain benefits to pay their Council Tax bill.

Who can claim?
  • Single people or if you are the only adult in the home
  • People with a low income
  • People in education or training
  • If you, or people you live with, have a learning disability or severe mental impairment
  • If you, or the people you live with, are disabled
  • If you are a live-in carer

If you, or family members, meet eligibility you/they will be considered a ‘disregarded person’ and, therefore will not be counted by the Local Council when they calculate the Council Tax cost for the property.

To check if you are eligible you need to contact your Local Council – click here to find out which Council you are with.

How much?
  • If you’re the only adult in your home, you may get a 25% discount on your council tax bill.
  • If you are a live-in carer, you may get a 25% discount on your council tax bill.
  • If you have a disability, your bill may be reduced to the next lowest Council Tax band. For example, if your property is in Band D, you’ll pay the Band C rate. If your home is already in the lowest band (Band A), you’ll get a 17% discount on your Council Tax bill instead.
  • If everyone in your household is counted as ‘disregarded’ you may get a 50% discount on your bill
  • If you are in full-time education you may get up to 100% discount on your bill.
Further Information

You can get further information on Council tax reductions here

For Information on, plus support for claiming, any of the above benefits please see our article, Useful sources of information about benefits

For Information on further Government support, please see our article, Government Cost of Living Support Package

 

The information in this article was correct at time of publication, but may be subject to change. 

If you have any comments, ideas, or suggestions about this article please contact us at [email protected]

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Kathy Gibson, Digital Information Officer

[email protected]

First published: March 2023

Last reviewed: April 2024

Next review due: November 2024