Single Parent Loans and Benefits
Are you a single parent or carer, living in the UK with a child under the age of 16?
There are a number of government welfare initiatives, benefits, loans, grants and tax credits that you may be qualified to receive. When you are struggling as a single parent, trying to raise children, work part or full time and are under, at or near the poverty line, there are a number of support benefits that you qualify for. Even if you do not qualify for the low income support benefits there are still a number of other grants or tax credits that you may be eligible for. Find all the information you need to get the financial assistance you need right here in this article.
There are multiple loans and benefits that a single parent is entitled to apply for if they have a child under the age of 16, 20 if they are in full time education and lives with the carer parent.
The first benefit is not a welfare benefit of the government, but is supported through the legal system after a partnership or marriage ceases to exist. The ex-partner in the marriage or civil union, still bears financial responsibility for their children. As such they are required to pay child maintenance to the primary care giver for the child(ren) from the union.
The child maintenance calculator is maintained by the UK government to give partners that are deciding on the arrangement by themselves an estimate of what the system would prescribe should the matter be taken before the Child Maintenance Service. This statutory amount is only an estimate and may be different in extreme situations. In most circumstances this is only available for ex-partners that live in the UK.
Use the general Benefits calculator to learn about other financial assistance aid you may be entitled to.
These are no-interest loans which are available to help with essential living needs such as white goods, furniture, maternity needs. To be eligible for this loan you must have already been collecting benefits for a 6 month period. Minimal loan amount is £100
The child benefit is a paid benefit to the primary carer to all parents in the amount of £20.30 a week for the first child and £13.40 for subsequent children per week. This benefit is available for all parents with an income under £50,000. If you or your partner earn over that amount, the benefit will be clawed back.
Also included for all new mums is free dental care and free prescriptions during your pregnancy and until your child reaches 1 year of age. This benefit is available regardless of income.
Statutory Maternity Pay (Paternity)
If you are still pregnant you are also eligible for a statutory payment either from your current employer or directly from the government. You will need to have worked at least the previous 26 weeks before the 15th week before the baby is due, to qualify for the benefit from your employer. If you do not qualify for SMP, you may qualify for Maternity Pay from the government. The base benefit is £136.78 per week or 90% of your weekly wages, whichever is less.
Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
This benefit is specifically if you are trying to find work, but of course is available to single parents. While you are raising a child and are looking for full or part time work you may be eligible for this benefit. However, you need to be active in your job search to be eligible and continue to receive payments.
If you have not signed on as unemployed, work less than 16 hours per week, and have a low income than you would also qualify for Income support in addition to the Child Claim and Child Tax Credit. The weekly minimum qualifying amount is £57.90.
The housing benefit is specifically for low income earners but will help you pay rent in this situation. As an unemployed primary carer, you would most likely qualify. The benefit depends on income and the housing rates in your location.
There are also heating and housing benefits for cold weather, winter fuel payments and energy saving benefits to improve the efficiency of your home. These are available under certain circumstances at certain times.
The Healthy Start benefit from the NHS provides weekly vouchers for milk, formula milk, vitamin supplements and even fresh or frozen vegetables for qualifying single parent families. If you are a low income earner, on JSA, IS, or a housing benefit, you most likely qualify.
Learn about other benefit loans and grants here.
There are also other tax credits that you may be eligible for on top of the above benefits as a single parent.
Child Tax Credit
This tax credit is for parents with children under 16 years of age and depends on your personal situation such as income, disability or childcare expenses. For each child you may be eligible for up to £2,780 and a base amount of £545. Other elements could be added to these amounts depending on your situation as a single parent.
Working Tax Credit
The working tax credit is for those that work at a minimum of 16 hours per week for single parents with at least one child and results in a £2,010 disbursement for the year. This tax credit is paid weekly and you may be eligible for a higher amount if you are also disabled or are paying for childcare.
Childcare Tax Credits
If you are working while raising a child as a single parent you may also be eligible for a childcare tax credit of £122.50 for 1 child or £210 for two children or more, depending on your income. The childcare must also be registered and approved to receive the credit.
Most single parents are not even aware of the over 3000 charitable grants available. These grants are often one-time payments to help in a variety of ways for single parent families to get through a particular hardship. It could include bill payments, help through cold weather utility payments, grants for educational courses and other welfare purposes. It’s as easy as searching an online grant search tool to see what fits your criteria.
If you are a single parent struggling to make payments for housing and utilities, and to put food on the table, there are many ways you can probably increase your monthly benefits, tax credit or apply for a charitable grant. Do not live in need, get help today.