Financial benefits to which you and your child may be entitled including information on baby benefits, tax, credits and child care benefits.
There are several benefits you may be entitled to including:
Sure start Maternity Grant
The Sure start maternity grant is worth up to £500 and you will qualify if you are receiving income-related benefits or tax credits. This payment does not have to be paid back and is to help you buy all the items needed for your new baby. To claim, fill in a form available from your local social security office. You can apply from 11 weeks before the week the baby is due until three months after the birth.
Child benefit is worth £20.00 per week for your first child and £13.20 for each younger child. You will get Child Benefit if you are responsible for a child, and satisfy certain other criteria. Details of these can be found in the Child Benefit claim pack. Fill in a form available from your local social security office or Inland Revenue Enquiry Centre. Complete a claim form online at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/childbenefit
Child tax credits
Child tax credits depend on your annual income and are composed of 2 parts. A family element is paid to any family with at least one child and is worth up to £545 and a child element paid to each child in the family and worth up to £2,085. Find out if you are eligible and get the claim form online at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/taxcredits
. Claim as soon as you are able to because amounts can only be backdated for up to three months. Payments will go into your account.
In the 2009 budget the Chancellor announced that the child element of child tax credit will increase by £20 from April 2010.
Working tax credit
Working Tax Credit contains several elements, including help with costs of childcare. The maximum basic element is £1,800 a year. The amount you may get will be based on your circumstances such as your income and how many hours you work. This tax credit is to top up the earnings of workers on a low income. You do not have to have children to claim this credit, it is additional to Child Tax Credit.
Childcare Tax Credits
Childcare Tax Credits are worth up to 80 per cent of your child care costs, up to a maximum of £175 per week for one child and £300 per week for two or more children. The childcare must be registered or approved, and you must be working for at least 16 hours a week. The amount you receive will depend on your income and will be paid directly to you and your partner. You can claim Childcare Tax Credits in the same way as you claim Child Tax Credit.
Nursery education grants
All three year olds have access to a free nursery place. This is five sessions of two and a half hours free nursery education a week. Each local education authority (LEA), in association with their Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership (EYDCP) keeps a list of nursery education providers approved to offer free places.
Child Trust Fund
Child Trust Funds are opened with a £250 voucher provided by the government for all babies born after September 2002 (with an additional £250 contribution to those in low income families). A further contribution of £250 is made by the government into the account when the child reaches the age of 7, again with an additional £250 for those in low-income families. Up to £1,200 can be added to the fund each year by family and friends.
In the 2009 budget, the Chancellor announced that an additional £100 a year will be contributed into Child Trust Funds for children with disabilities, and an extra £200 for children with severe disabilities. The money will be available to your child when he or she reaches the age of 18. For further information on Child Trust Funds Click Here