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9 Welfare benefits

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1. Introduction

2. If you have a low income

3. If you are having a baby or adopting a child

4. If you have children to look after

If you have a child, there are several benefits you may be able to claim.

  • You can normally claim Child Benefit for your child or children, regardless of your earnings.
  • If your income is below a certain level, you may also qualify for Child Tax Credit.
  • If you work and your income is below a certain level, you can claim Working Tax Credit, which can include an amount towards the cost of childcare.
  • If your child is disabled, you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance for them, and Carer’s Allowance for looking after them.
  • If you look after a child whose parents have both died, or if one has died and the other is missing or in prison, you may be able to claim Guardian’s Allowance.

If you have a child born since 1 September 2002, you will usually be sent vouchers to open a Child Trust Fund account, a type of savings or investment account for children. You do not have to claim these vouchers – they should automatically be sent to you if you have received Child Benefit. The account belongs to the child, but they cannot access the money until they are 18. The Child Trust Fund website has more information – see ‘Further help’.

5. If you are unemployed

6. If you are ill and can't work

7. If you have a disability

8. If you are just starting work

9. If you have retired or are about to retire

10. If your husband, wife or civil partner dies

11. Where do I claim?

12. What must I do when I claim?

13. What if I disagree with a decision about my claim?

14. What if I've been badly treated?

15. The Human Rights Act

16. Further help

17. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Rachel Hadwen, a specialist in welfare rights.

Leaflet Version: April 2019

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