Financial Help and Benefits for Families

If you're responsible for a child there is a range of financial assistance available depending on your family circumstances.  Below are entitlements and benefits that may be available to help with the cost of raising a child.



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Sure Start Maternity Grant

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500 to help with the costs of having a new-born or adopted baby. You do not have to pay the grant back and it won’t affect your other benefits.  To qualify for the grant there must be no other children under 16 in the household and you and/or your partner must be in receipt of certain benefits.

Find out if you are eligible and how to claim the Sure Start Maternity Grant

Healthy Start Vouchers

If you’re pregnant or have a child under 4, you could get help to buy some basic foods and milk.

You can get free vouchers every 4 weeks to spend on milk, fresh and frozen fruit/vegetables and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins.

Find further informtion and check if you qualify for the Healthy Start Scheme


Child Benefit

You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • under 16
  • under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

Child Benefit is paid every 4 weeks. There are 2 payment rates, a higher rate for the eldest or only child, then a lower rate for each additional child. There is no limit to how many children you can claim for.

How to claim Child Benefit

Tax Credits

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit have been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.

You can only make a new claim for Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit if you get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it.

Find out more at:

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs.  You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income, out of work or you cannot work.

Universal Credit is replacing Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). 

It can be claimed by people in lots of different situations and it can include elements for children, childcare and rent. The amount that you depends on your financial and family situation.

Apply for Universal Credit online

Page last reviewed: 27/03/2023

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