There are several different forms of financial support families may be able to access.

Child benefit

Child benefit is a tax-free payment that you can claim for your child.

It is usually paid every four weeks but can sometimes be paid weekly if you receive:

  • income support;
  • income based jobseeker's allowance (JSA)
  • income related employment and support allowance (ESA)
  • Pension credit
  • or if you're a single parent.

There are separate rates payable for each child.

Tax credits

If you're responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, you may qualify for child tax credit.

If you work, but earn lower wages, you may qualify for working tax credit.

For more information visit the GOV.UK website.

Sure start maternity grant

You could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a child, known as a sure start maternity grant.

You usually qualify for the grant if:

  • you have no other children - unless you’re expecting a multiple birth, such as twins
  • you get certain benefits

You must claim the grant within 11 weeks of expecting the baby or within three months after the birth.

Visit GOV.UK for application forms and more information.

Healthy start card

The Healthy Start scheme helps those who are pregnant or have responsibility for at least one child under 4 years old who are on a qualifying benefit and a low income.

  • Child Tax Credit (only if the family annual income is £16,190 or less)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
  • Universal Credit (only if the family’s take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)

They may also be eligible if:

  • They are under 18 and pregnant, even if they are not claiming any benefits
  • They claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance and are over 10 weeks pregnant

Beneficiary of Healthy Start receive:

  • £4.25 each week of pregnancy (from the 10th week)
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old
  • £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old

The prepaid card can be used in any shop that sells eligible healthy start food and milk and displaces the MasterCard acceptance mark.

Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

Changes to welfare benefits

There are many changes to benefits and taxes happening now and over the next few years.

These are often referred to as the welfare reform. Changes will affect some of Warrington’s residents to some degree, but will mainly affect those people who are not working.

You can find more information in our financial support for families document: