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Money and Other Help for Having Children

Child Tax Credit (CTC) can be claimed by anyone who has a dependent child.  The amount you get depends....

on your annual income and your household circumstances (but not your savings).  Extra ‘elements’ of CTC can be awarded if you have a disabled child who is in receipt of DLA or registered blind. 

For more information on Working and Child Tax Credit, you can call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3 900.  The website address is: www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits

Child Benefit (CB) can also be claimed by anyone who has a dependent child under 16 or a young person, if they remain in non-advanced education or unwaged training, up to the age of 19 (20 in some circumstances).  CB is also administered by HMRC.  The Child Benefit Enquiry Line is: 0845 302 1444.  The website address is: www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefit

Healthy Start Vouchers Scheme - these can be claimed if you are pregnant or have a child under 4 years old and are on a very low income.  Vouchers are usually given for milk, fruit, vegetables and vitamins.  Applications have to be completed by a midwife or medical professional.  The Healthy Start Scheme can be contacted on 0845 607 6823.  The website address is: www.healthystart.nhs.uk

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a £500.00 grant for those who are in receipt of certain benefits who have recently given birth or adopted a child.  This grant is now limited to your first child unless all your other children are above 16.  See www.direct.gov.uk for more details.

Help if Your Child is at School

Free School Meals must be provided by the local education authority if your child attends a ‘maintained school’ and you are in receipt of certain benefits or a very low income.  Application forms for these are usually available from your local council or education authority.

School transport/help with transport costs to school can be provided if your local education authority considers it necessary to help children get to a ‘suitable’ school. 

Help with school uniform costs might also be available from your local education authority or Social Services department (also known as Social Care and Health) if you are in receipt of a low income or your child has ‘extra needs’. 

Visiting a child at a special school – education authorities also have discretion to help pay some or all of the fares of parents visiting a child at a special school a long distance from their home if you are in receipt of a low income. 

Most schools and colleges also have ‘access to learning’ and/or ‘hardship funds’ to assist disabled students with learning.  Details should be available direct from the school/college itself, especially if there is a student welfare officer or department.  Please note: there are different schemes for this type of help according to whether you live in England, Wales or Scotland. 

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