If you live in the UK and are responsible for the upbringing of a child whose parents have died, so the child isn’t your own child, you may be eligible to get Guardian’s Allowance. You may also find yourself entitled to a Guardian’s Allowance if you’re responsible for the upbringing of a child who isn’t yours and there’s one surviving parent of that child. This allowance is applicable to individuals living in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England.
Eligibility criteria for Guardian’s Allowance
Before we get into the eligibility criteria for this allowance provided by the UK government, it’s important to remember that the Guardian’s Allowance is a non-means-tested benefit provided by the UK government. So, you will be eligible to receive this benefit irrespective of the status of your savings or income.
The Guardian’s Allowance may be claimed if:
- You’re responsible for the upbringing of a child who isn’t your own either by adoption or biologically and the parents of this child have both passed away or one parent had died and the other isn’t able to look after the child owing to circumstances like the parent is missing or is in prison.
- It can only be claimed if you’re also getting Child benefits for the minor.
Remember that if either you or your partner have an annual income (individual income) of over £50,000, then the claimed Child Benefit will be taxable (income tax). However, it is best to still claim Child Benefits for the minor because then you’ll be eligible to claim Guardian’s Allowance in the UK, which is non-taxable.
Guardian’s Allowance: How to claim
To claim this benefit, you have either download the form from GOV.UK website or call using the following phone numbers:
- Telephone: 0300 200 3101
- Textphone: 0300 200 3103
- Welsh language: 0300 200 1900
Documents required include:
- A birth certificate and/or adoption certificate of the child
- A death certificate (if one or both parents have passed away)
- Your national insurance number
- Proof of identity (like passport, driving license, or birth certificate)
Other important information
- Amount: in the UK, the Guardian’s Allowance rate is £18.00 per week per minor.
- Taxable: No, Guardian’s Allowance is not a taxable benefit, unlike Child Benefits.
- Benefit Cap: In case you or your partner get Guardian’s Allowance in the UK, then you’ll be exempt from the Benefit Cap in the UK.
- Mode of payment: This benefit is paid directly to your Post Office account, Building Society, or Bank. If you’re not able to manage or open any of these aforementioned accounts or other similar accounts, it can be paid through the Payment Exception Service.
- Frequency of payment: The Guardian’s Allowance is usually paid on a monthly basis (every 4 weeks). However, the allowance can be paid on a weekly basis if you’re already receiving other benefits or you’re a single parent.
- Eligibility for other Benefits: This benefit is not taken into consideration as income when your entitlement to other tax credits and means-tested benefits are being calculated. This benefit is also not impacted by the high-income child benefit charge in the UK. In case you decide to receive Child Benefit anymore, you can still continue to receive Guardian’s Allowance.
- Claim timeline: The good thing about this benefit is that it can be backdated for up to 3 months in case you would’ve been eligible to claim it earlier on. The reasoning behind the delay in your claim doesn’t matter. Sometimes, your Guardian’s Allowance claim can even be backdated to the point where you qualified for receiving Child Benefits.
When it comes to Guardian’s Allowance in the UK, remember to report any change in circumstances that may impact your eligibility and entitlement to the benefi