Friday 1 August 2014

Tax credits, benefits and financial aid: What all parents need to know....

As a parent, there are a few key things that you definitely need to be aware of. Aside from the obvious skills such as changing nappies and dealing with a crying child, there are certain financial points that you must consider.


We can all strive for the beauty of a McCarthy & Stone retirement home later in life, but if you’re struggling as a parent, it could be possible that housing benefits are available to you. Anyone who pays rent or rates for their home is eligible for these benefits. If you have savings of under £16,000 and are not living with a relation, you could receive a social security benefit that helps low income households pay rent and rates.

Financial assistance

As a new parent you are entitled to numerous benefits and leave options. Starting with maternity leave, women are entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks of leave, 26 weeks of ordinary leave and an additional 26 afterwards in order to take care of your newborn child. Whilst it is not compulsory to take all of your leave, you must take two weeks off after the baby is born and four if you work in a factory.

Raising a child is a combined effort, so paternity leave is also an option that is worth considering. As a father you are entitled to up to two weeks of leave after the baby is born. There are conditions to this benefit (outlined here), but generally speaking if your earnings are above £109 a week without taxes your leave will be paid for.

If you’re a new parent through adoption, you are also entitled to leave for the same period and pay as maternity leave; whilst only one person in the couple can claim adoption leave the other may still be able to take paternity leave. Unfortunately, these benefits do not apply if you are adopting privately or adopting a family member or stepchild.

Tax Credits

As a parent you may be entitled to Child Tax Credit. You can claim it if you are responsible for 1 or more children. Generally speaking, it is possible to claim tax credit on a child who is under you care up until the 31st August after their 16th birthday and you can continue to claim as long as they are in full-time education.

The benefit of this tax claim is you are eligible for it whether you are working or not as long as you are responsible for a child or young person and receiving a wage under the assigned bracket.

HM Revenues and Customs has further information of Tax Credits should you require it, it could be well worth checking out if this situation applies to you.

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