Child benefits do change from time to time, so it’s a good idea to check with the relevant organization. But this guide may help to explain which pieces of support you – or your child – could apply for:
You should get this if you’re the main carer for your child and he or she is:
- under 16, or
- over 16 but under 20 and in education or training that counts for Child Benefit
under 18 and left education or training but registered for work, education or training with a carers service, Connexions or the Ministry of Defence
Working Tax Credits
You have to be over 16 to apply for this. But if you’re working at least 16 hours or more each week and either have a disability or you’re the main carer, then you could get Working Tax Credits.
If you’re over 25, then you need to be working 30 hours or more each week to qualify. But in both cases, you may qualify for help towards the costs of registered or approved childcare.
Child Tax Credits
This benefit depends on your earnings and circumstances. But you may qualify if you’re the main carer and your child is:
- under 16, or,
- over 16 but under 20 and in education or training that counts for Child Benefit, or,
- under 18 and recently left education or training but registered for work, education or training with a carers service, Connexions or the Ministry of Defence.
Free school meals
Your children could get free school meals if they go to what’s known as a local ‘authority maintained’ school in England and Wales or a ‘local authority’ school in Scotland. But to qualify, you must only be getting Child Tax Credit (not Working Tax Credit) and be earning less than £16,190 a year.
Free prescriptions, free dental treatment, free eye tests
Usually, you need to be on Income Support or getting Jobseeker's Allowance to qualify for these benefits.
But you will qualify for them if you’re pregnant, or have had a baby in the last 12 months. And your children can get these benefits if they’re under 16 or under 19 and in full-time education.
For more details about other benefits – things like Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefits – please look at the government’s Benefits calculator website.