Unlocking Insights – Navigating Child Benefit Policies in the UK

Child Benefit Scheme

With the cost of living increasing in the United Kingdom, it is important to make the most of the financial support available from the Government and child benefit is one among them. It is a known fact that parenthood is quite challenging where you have to make many important decisions for your child, but it also involves a lot of tangible and intangible costs, such as financial costs, psychological costs, etc. So, it is wise to navigate the child benefit policies to understand their intricacies and receive the support that you want. Let’s have a look. 

Child Benefit

As the name suggests, this is the most popular benefit that you can avail as a parent or guardian of children under the age of 16. The benefit is also available to those having children under the age of 20 years if they are enrolled in an approved education or training. Paid every four weeks, this child benefit involves two rates- £24.00 if you are seeking the benefit for your eldest or only child and £15.90 per child if you have additional children. The best part is from 6 April 2024; you can claim this benefit even if you have a high income of more than £50,000 per year. Also, now it is possible to apply for this child benefit in a hassle-free manner via the HMRC app or its website. 

Guardian’s Allowance

You can apply and avail an allowance of £20.40 a week even if you are already receiving the child benefit. However, not every guardian can apply for this child benefit as this tax-free benefit is only for those who are bringing up a child whose parents are dead or one of the parents is hospitalized by court’s order. However, if you are a guardian and you have adopted such a child, you can still avail this allowance. There are also some other eligibility criteria that you can check out on the HMRC website. 

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Available to adults also, this is another tax-free allowance of £26.90 to £71 a week under the mobility component and of £26.90 to £101.75 a week under the care component. Remember, this child benefit has two components-care component and the mobility component. You can apply if you are parenting a child or taking care of a child who is below the age of 16 and experiences difficulty in walking or needs more care than children of his age. You can claim this child benefit even if you are not the parent or guardian of the child as even step-parents, grandparents, older siblings or foster parents who are taking care of the disabled child are eligible. 

Healthy Start

This is another child benefit that you can avail of if your child is less than 4 years old and your family income is either £408 or less per month after paying the taxes. This scheme can prove helpful in purchasing healthy food items and getting free vitamins. Remember, you cannot claim this benefit if you are able to claim public funds. 

So, there are a lot of child benefit policies that deserve your attention regarding eligibility criteria, application process, and so on. It is wise to keep a tab on the latest developments and consult a tax expert to navigate these policies effortlessly.