Changes to Guardian’s Allowance | FAQs

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guardian allowance

You could get the Guardian’s Allowance if you are bringing up a child whose parents have passed away. In certain cases you can also be eligible if there is one surviving parent.

The Guardian’s Allowance is going to count towards the ‘benefits cap’ from this month – this is the maximum amount of benefit money any one household is allowed to claim. At present, the benefit cap works out at £500 per week for families, couples and single parents.

Guardian’s Allowance doesn’t count as income if you are claiming tax credits, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

What is the current rate of Guardian’s Allowance?

For 2013, the allowance is set at £15.55 a week. (The government is likely to increase this to £15.90 in the coming months.) You get this amount on top of Child Benefit.

Guardian’s allowance can be backdated for three months – so the sooner you apply, the better.

Do I have to pay tax on the allowance?

No. The allowance does not count towards taxable benefits.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible you must meet these conditions:

  • You are the legal guardian of somebody else’s child.
  • One of the child’s parents is dead.
  • You qualify for child benefit.
  • One of the parents was born in the UK or had been living in the UK since the age of 16 for at least 52 weeks in a two year period.

How do I claim the Guardian’s Allowance?

Complete this form and send it off to this address with the relevant paperwork:

The Guardian’s Allowance Unit 
Child Benefit Office 
PO Box 1 
Newcastle upon Tyne 
NE88 1AA

When do I claim?

The HMRC website advises you to claim as soon as possible, as the allowance will only be backdated for three months. You can claim Guardian’s Allowance and Child Benefit at the same time.

What if I am already on benefits?

Guardian’s Allowance doesn’t count as income if you are claiming tax credits, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

However, as mentioned above, it does count towards the maximum ‘benefit cap’ figure that families may claim (currently £500 a week).

You can calculate your benefits entitlement using the government’s online Benefits Adviser tool.

What paperwork will I need?

To claim you will need:

  • The child’s original birth certificate
  • The original death certificates of the parent/s

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