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Benefit help for single working parents

benefit help for single working parents
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As a single working parent, it is helpful to know that there are benefits available to help you. Some benefits are designed specifically for single working parents, but there are also benefits that can also be accessed by others too. It is important to remember that as your financial and family circumstances change, so may your benefits, and it is your responsibility to contact the job centre and the tax credits office at HMRC of any changes in your income and working hours. Any errors could incur overpayments which you would then be required to pay back, and you may also be underpaid, so it is worthwhile contacting the relevant department when any changes do occur. Here’s some advice on benefits help for single working parents.

Child Benefit

Regardless of whether or not you work, the majority of people will be entitled to receive child benefit if they have one child or more under the age of 16. If your child is over 16, but is in full time education or enrolled an approved training course, you will still be eligible to receive child benefit.

Child Tax Credits

This benefit is not exclusive to single parents and can be claimed by any parent that meets the appropriate means tested criteria and cares for a child under the age of 16. Child Tax Credits are split into two categories: the family element and the child element. The amount you receive will depend on whether you have a new baby, if you care for a disabled child and the total number of children in your family.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

This is a one-off grant of £500 available to first time parents or those that already have a child and then go on to have a multiple birth. If you already have one child and then go on to have twins, you will get a further £500. If you already have one child then have triplets you will receive £1000. If you already have twins and then give birth to triplets, you will receive a grant of £500.

Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction

benefit help for single working parentsEven if you work, you may still qualify for help with your rent and council tax. Those on a low income will get assistance with rent, but if you have savings of £3000 or more, the amount to which you are entitled may be lower. Council Tax Reduction has replaced Council Tax Benefit and if you wish to receive this benefit, your income will be assessed and a certain amount deducted from your council tax bill.

Income Support

If you work less than 16 hours a week and are on a low income, you may qualify for Income Support. The amount you receive depends on your individual circumstances. Those in receipt of Income support are also entitled to free dental care, free prescriptions and free school meals.

Child Maintenance

As a single parent you are entitled to receive maintenance for your child from the non-resident parent. This can be done via a private arrangement or by using the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency. Those choosing to collect maintenance via the Child Maintenance Service from August 11th 2014 will have to pay application and enforcement fees to use the collect and pay service. Receiving child maintenance will not have any impact on other benefits that you receive.

New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP)

The NDLP is for parents that work less than 16 hours a week, or those that are unemployed. The scheme is designed to get parents back into full-time employment by offering help with training and education to further an individual’s career prospects. In addition to free training, participants will also receive assistance with transport expenses and childcare costs.

Further information about benefits for single working parents and access to other help available can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

 

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About Denise Morgan

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About Denise Morgan

Denise has five years' experience writing for various web-based companies. During this time she has also contributed to magazine articles and brochures. In addition to writing, Denise is a gigging singer/songwriter and is proud to have featured on the first series of BBC One's The Voice UK, having been selected by the great Sir Tom Jones. Denise is mother to the most talented and ridiculously intelligent two year old that has ever been and ever will be (until she creates another one that is). This kind of hyperbole is restricted only to her progeny and is not a reflection of her usual writing styles... Denise and her son live in Manchester along with their five cats - yes that's right, five.

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