There are several different forms of financial support families may be able to access.
Child benefit is a tax-free payment that you can claim for your child.
It is usually paid every four weeks but can sometimes be paid weekly if you receive:
- income support;
- income based jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
- income related employment and support allowance (ESA)
- Pension credit
- or if you're a single parent.
There are separate rates payable for each child.
If you're responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, you may qualify for child tax credit.
If you work, but earn lower wages, you may qualify for working tax credit.
For more information visit the GOV.UK website.
Sure start maternity grant
You could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child, known as a sure start maternity grant.
You usually qualify for the grant if:
- you have no other children - unless you’re expecting a multiple birth, such as twins
- you get certain benefits
You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of expecting the baby or within three months after the birth.
Visit GOV.UK for application forms and more information.
Healthy start vouchers
Healthy start vouchers enable you to swap the vouchers for milk, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and infant formula. You may also get free vitamins.
You may qualify for vouchers if you are:
- at least 10 weeks pregnant; and/or
- have at least one child under four years of age; and
- you or your family receive one of the following benefits;
- income support
- income based JSA
- income related ESA
- child tax credit
If you don't meet the above criteria, but you are under 18 years of age and pregnant, you may still qualify for the vouchers.
You can find more information and apply for voucher on the GOV.UK website.
Changes to welfare benefits
There are many changes to benefits and taxes happening now and over the next few years.
These are often referred to as the welfare reform. Changes will affect some of Warrington’s residents to some degree, but will mainly affect those people who are not working.
You can find more information in our financial support for families document: