If you are a family with a low income, there are many benefits available for individual circumstances.
Free school meals
- 1 Free school meals
- 2 Care to Learn
- 3 Carer’s Credit
- 4 Child Trust Fund (now Junior ISA)
- 5 Childcare Grant
- 6 Claiming for injury whilst serving in the Armed Forces
- 7 Sure Start Maternity Grant
- 8 Guardian’s Allowance
- 9 Healthy Start
- 10 Maternity Allowance
- 11 Statutory Maternity Pay
- 12 Parents’ Learning Allowance
You can contact your local council to see if your child will qualify for free school meals. If you get certain benefits, such as income support, jobseekers allowance or state pension. Children who get certain benefits in their own right will also be entitled to free meals.
Care to Learn
The care to learn programme helps you with childcare costs whilst you study, but you have to be under the age of 20 at the start of your course. It’s available for courses which are publicly funded such as schools and 6th forms. You can get up to £160 per week if you live outside of London or £175 per week if you live in London. It will cover the cost of your childcare and payments will go directly to whoever provides your childcare.
If you care for someone for at least 20 hours a week, you could get carer’s credit. You have to be over the age of 16, under state pension age and looking after one or more persons for 20 hours a week.
Child Trust Fund (now Junior ISA)
A child trust fund is now known as the Junior ISA. It is a long term, tax free style of savings account for children. If you already have a child trust fund account, you can continue to add £4,080 a year to it. It can’t be taken out until the child is 18.
Full time students in higher education can apply for a childcare grant of up to £155.24 per child, or up to £266.15 a week for 2 or more children. Any money you receive is paid on top of your student finance and you won’t have to pay it back.
Claiming for injury whilst serving in the Armed Forces
Compensation is available if you were injured or became ill whilst serving in the Armed Forces. This includes the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, the British Army or the Royal Air Force.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
You could get a one off payment of £500 from this grant which will go towards the cost of having a baby. You qualify if this is your first child and you are already receiving certain benefits.
You might be eligible to receive Guardian’s Allowance if you are bringing up a child whose parents have passed away. You could also be eligible if one parent is still alive.
If you’re pregnant or you have a child under the age of 4, the Healthy Start scheme is designed to help you buy basic foods such as fruit and milk. If you qualify, you’ll be sent vouchers which you can choose in over 30,000 shops across the UK.
Maternity Allowance is usually paid to people who don’t qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay.
Statutory Maternity Pay
Statutory Maternity Pay is paid for up to 39 weeks. You’ll get 90% of your average weekly earnings before tax for the first 6 weeks, then 90% of your wages or £139.58 for the next 33 weeks.
Parents’ Learning Allowance
Full time students who have children could get up to £1,573 a year to help with the costs of learning such as books, study material and travel.