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Can Grandparents Receive Financial Help For Raising Their Grandchildren?

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 4 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Grandchildren Grandparents Children

In the UK alone, there are thousands of children who are being cared for full time by their grandparents and while these grandchildren are most definitely welcomed and loved, providing such care can sometimes be a financial burden for their grandparents. There is help available for grandparents in need, however, and such assistance can make it far easier to handle raising a second generation.

Determining Financial Need for Grandparents

Some grandparents have the means to support their grandchildren, but others may not be so fortunate. Young grandparents may still be raising their own children when the need arises to take on grandkids, and older grandparents have often retired and may be living on fixed incomes, leaving little extra for the unexpected expenses associated with raising their children's children.

Grandparenting is sometimes all about special treats and fun outings, but for other grandparents, the responsibilities of parenthood return when they step in to raise their grandchildren. The willingness to offer everyday help is quite a gift, and there is no shame in applying for and accepting financial aid.

Child Benefits and Child Tax Credits

Grandparents who have grandchildren living with them qualify for child benefits and should contact their local authority for advice. Unfortunately, benefit amounts tend to vary a great deal and are given at the discretion on the authority, so there is no guarantee that the amounts will be sufficient to help make ends meet. Some benefits, such as child tax credits, are available only to grandparents if they've made the commitment to take permanent responsibility for the child(ren).

Residence Orders and Special Guardianships

Residence orders specify where a child is to live and typically gives the parents shared responsibility for the care of the child. When a residence order is in place, the local authority may pay out an allowance to help with some of the costs of child rearing. Grandparents who have applied for residence orders for the care of their grandkids may wish to seek the advice of a solicitor to assure that they receive all of the benefits that they are eligible for.

Special guardianships provide a permanent solution for grandparents who are taking care of their grandchildren due to the children's parents' inability or unwillingness to provide hands-on care, but when adoption is not deemed to be the best answer. A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) allows the grandparents to make most decisions regarding the care and welfare of the grandchildren in their care whilst preserving the parents' legal rights as parents, should they one day become more capable of resuming their parental responsibilities.

Grandparents who have been granted special guardianships should contact their local authority if they are in need of financial or other types of assistance. Payments may be determined in a case by case basis, with the level of need considered when granting either ongoing payments or in some instances, single payments or short term help.

Children who have been placed with their grandparents may be troubled and may have experienced any variety of traumas that resulted in their need to live apart from their parents. Grandparents with SGOs who feel that their grandchildren would benefit from counselling services may be able to get help from their local authority in accessing and paying for such services. The local authority will do all that they can to see that children are provided with sufficient funds and services to make their transition as seamless as possible.

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Well I am all most 59 my husband is 58 we have been raising our 5 grandchildren for the last 8 all most 9 years we have been living in my husband mothers house but she is deceased 2001 the house was left to my husband but there was no will but 14 years later his sister decided she wanted half so she takes us to court in 2015 now we have paid property tax and up keep since 2002and when we didnt have the means to buy her out so we had to put the house up for sale it sold cheap but his sister got all the money because we lived there all that time for free that left us with no house and no money to get in another one Thank God a friend has let us house set but he will be back home the end of july and we need to be out now my husband works he works long hard days but its justnot enough to pay rent in something big enough for all of us Im praying God sends a miracle
MawMaw - 4-Jun-17 @ 4:52 PM
My grandson has lived with me for two.years . He didn't get on with his mother and she put him out. He was 11 years old. My husband is disabled and we get benefits.Are we entitled to any help and how would this affect our benefits
Mag - 1-Jun-17 @ 4:20 PM
Shazza - Your Question:
I am 54 and bringing up 2 orphaned grandkids singlehanded. Work p/time get tax credits etc but my cooker is broke is there any financial help to get a new one. Have never received help from the local authorities ?

Our Response:
You can check via the linkes of Turn2Us, please see link here.
ProudGrandparents - 16-May-17 @ 12:27 PM
I am 54 and bringing up 2 orphaned grandkidssinglehanded. Workp/time get tax credits etc but my cooker is broke is there any financial help to get a new one. Have never received help from the local authorities ?
Shazza - 15-May-17 @ 8:18 PM
When will the government start and pay grandparent for bringing up grand children, they throw money at everything except this, also I have a residence order, should there be a distance peramiter that the parent can live from me as this can cause problems if they live too close
Googles - 12-May-17 @ 10:17 PM
Hi My husband and myself have had our 9 year old granddaughter live with us since last December...she's on child protection. Her mum is not allowed contact due to being on bail till may 9th...apprently my granddaughter accused hermum of hitting her .....mum also is living with her new boyfriend..both take drugs ...dad, my son had a girlfriend,but my granddaughter wasn't allowed to go there due to it not being safe environment...I don't know full details...but her kids were also on child protection....my granddaughter is a daddy's girl...but he's also on drugs ...neither mum or dad give us any money or support...my son comes here sometimes but not alot ...he was living here in December for month but didn't like our rules ...my hubby and I both work...keep a nice house ...my other son works hard as well...he don't get on with his brother at all because he hates druggies.... I've cut my days down to two 10 hour shifts..I work with children all day ... I'm struggling now...mentally and physically...I'm 54..hubby 63...we had a nice life...now it's been turned upside down......I know I sound selfish...but I feel at the end of my tether now....my granddaughter is hard work...never used to be....she's so naughty for me...tells me she hates me...hates living here ...she thinks she can wander the streets...I had to go out looking for her the other night .. Tells me she's with a friend but then wanders off ...I'm questioning myself can I carry on doing this ? I'm tired of the arguments...tired after walking back and fourth to school ..listening to her demands constantly...we used to have a good relationship when she just visited for weekends..now it's all changed ....I hav to go social service meetings regular...meetings up the school.. We've had a big meeting with local authorities to see whether we are viable to look after her and go for SGO... Report came back that we not viable. So now it will go to court ... Her other nan has also had a viability test ...I think they want her to have our granddaughter...she Already has SGO for her other 2 grandchildren...she told me she'll take her on as last resort.....I'm at my wits end ...I don't want my granddaughter going into care ...but I feel I'm losing my patience with her now cos I'm finding her hard to deal with.....we get no money looking after her...not even child benefit..there was a problem with it and they're taking ages to sort it out...I pay for a childminder twice a week because I work....I pay for breakfast club in the mornings that I do work...I just don't know how I feel...I'm in limbo..I'm tired ..not looking after myself...I resent my son for putting us in this situation....he's not seen his daughter or rang her for a week now ...I don't know where he is ...all I do know is he hangs around with wrong people.. They all do drugs ... Just don't know what to do anymore...
Debs - 30-Apr-17 @ 9:25 AM
Hi we have sgo of our 3 grandchildren today I received a letter saying they will be stopping there child benefits and child tax credits how are we supposed to bring them up giving them all they require if we are losing over £200 a week
Jo - 28-Apr-17 @ 11:29 PM
Maria - Your Question:
Hi if I give up my job and look after my Grandson can I claim benefits. And which ones will I be able to claim Thank you Maria Marcano

Our Response:
You can see more via the Entitled To link here.
ProudGrandparents - 18-Apr-17 @ 2:49 PM
Hi if I give up my job and look after my Grandson can i claimbenefits. And which ones will i be able to claimThank you Maria Marcano
Maria - 18-Apr-17 @ 12:12 PM
As from Monday 10th April 2017, our daughter will be going back to work full time and we will be looking after our 8 months old grandson because of it. We are retired and I have a few hours a week childcare job that I will have to give up as I am needed very early in the morning. Will we be entitled to any help from the government to entertain our grandson, ie taking him to baby music classes, sensory classes etc.?
Pat - 8-Apr-17 @ 9:30 AM
Nan - Your Question:
I am looking after my grandaughter since she was 2 monthsi dont get any help from her mother my grandaughter is now 11 and still no help from her mother So was wondering if there is any other benifit I can claim

Our Response:
You don't say in what context you are looking after your granddaughter. For instance, if you have a child arrangements order (previously known as a residence order), which gives you parental responsibility for the child in your care, then you are able to claim for child benefit and tax credits. You can see more via the Kinship Carers link here which will tell you what particular benefits you may be eligible for dependent upon your perceived status. Also, if your granddaughter is working and you have parental responsibility for your grandchild, you may be able to claim child maintenance via the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).
ProudGrandparents - 6-Apr-17 @ 9:49 AM
I am looking after my grandaughter since she was 2 monthsi dont get any help from her mother my grandaughter is now 11 and still no help from her mother So was wondering if there is any other benifit i can claim
Nan - 5-Apr-17 @ 2:51 PM
Hi, does this grandparent tax apply in Scotland?
Liz - 3-Apr-17 @ 11:37 AM
Bubs - Your Question:
My 16 year old grandson came to live with me in December, because of family problems, and being unable to move with his mum, when she moved in with her partner. This was because he doesn't get on with the new person in his mums life. He is suffering from depression, is unable to work or attend college at the moment. He is receiving counselling, as he doesn't go out, his councillor comes to us every week. His mum does not get any money for him any more because he's not working or at college, so she cant help me with his keep. I am on state pension, and receive a little pension credit top up, enabling me to have housing & rate benefit.I am finding it a struggle, but will not let my grandson live on the 'streets', which is what I hear happens, as there is no help available for them. I've even been told by a friend that I could lose my rate relief as he's living with me even though I support him entirely,and he doesn't have a penny. Is there any kind of help I can get from anywhere towards his keep?

Our Response:
I can only direct you to the Turn 2 Us website which may be able to offer more help here. The difficulty you have is the fact your grandson is not in full-time government approved education or training as an alternative(as is the law at his age). This means your grandson may have slipped through the net in terms of benefits. However, if by chance you are claiming child benefit for him via Child Maintenenace Services, or he is still in receipt of child benefit via his parent(s), then you can claim child maintenance from either or both parents who are earning and paying tax through HMRC. If his parent is still claiming CB then you could apply to have child benefit transferred over to you, and then you would be able to make a child maintenance claim. If you are not in receipt of child benefit, then only if your grandson returns to education would be able to re-apply. I hope this helps.
ProudGrandparents - 21-Mar-17 @ 10:18 AM
My daughter went to states to attend my son's wedding and had to leave my grandson with me who been very attached to me and I couldn't live away from him, she sent me the guardianship letter stamped signed by an attorney from there and I am responsible for my grandsons education etc, is this guardianship letter by an attorney enough and is accepted over here in UK or do I need something else beside this? Please guide me thanks
Spogmaee - 20-Mar-17 @ 11:14 PM
My 16 year old grandson came to live with me in December, because of family problems, and being unable to move with his mum, when she moved in with her partner. This was because he doesn't get on with the new person in his mums life. He is suffering from depression, is unable to work or attend college at the moment. He is receiving counselling, as he doesn't go out, his councillor comes to us every week. His mum does not get any money for him any more because he's not working or at college, so she cant help me with his keep. I am on state pension, and receive a little pension credit top up, enabling me to have housing & rate benefit.I am finding it a struggle, but will not let my grandson live on the 'streets', which is what I hear happens, as there is no help available for them. I've even been told by a friend that I could lose my rate relief as he's living with me even though I support him entirely,and he doesn't have a penny. Is there any kind of help i can get from anywhere towards his keep?
Bubs - 20-Mar-17 @ 7:12 AM
Social services refuse to give me any help towards my greatgrandson they say my husband earns enough income this is so unfair as we were told that our life style wouldnt change my husband is no blood as he is my second husband we cant aford days out hoildays even doing things like getting the house done up we really need a family houlday can you help us feel like we have been stabed in the back
Cathy - 15-Mar-17 @ 12:46 PM
I'm about to go back to work and my mum will be looking after my baby she hasn't got a job at the minute is she entitled to the 140 a week benefit???
Vp - 9-Mar-17 @ 4:25 PM
My husband and I have had our 2 grandsons for over a year and just got our SGO .we have had no financial support from our local authority.all we have been told that once we got our SGO our payments would be back dated .which I feel isn't going to happen .any advice would be very welcome .many thanks
Lilly - 9-Mar-17 @ 9:27 AM
grandparents - Your Question:
We have to go to court and represent our self as we cant afford costs we are grandparents, the problem we have is our age and health so social services say I am 53 and my husband is 70. I am ashmatic but its under controll my husband has c.o.p.d witch is also under control not getting worse. I will admit im loosing faith in getting her as we got no soliciter. please can you advise me is it worth any more upset or are we just banging our head on a brick wall

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot advise regarding whether you may be successful or not, this is up to the court to decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your grandchild. Much will depend upon the circumstances surrounding the issues and how much you have played a part in your granddaughter's upbringing to date and whether you both have the ability to look after her full-time. This would be weighed against other alternatives (if it is likely the child is to be removed from her mother). With regards to self-litigation, litigants in person MUST be treated equally before the law and have equal access to justice. Judges have a duty to ensure a fair trial by giving them due assistance to achieve this. But that duty does not extend to giving legal advice. Nor can a judge be seen to favour one party over another, even if that party is a litigant in person.Litigants in person should also bear in mind that a judge's role is to determine both the facts of the case and the law applicable to those facts and presenting a case involving difficult points of law is no easy task for lawyers with many years experience, let alone a litigant in person. Which is why it is expected that with the increasing numbers of litigants in person, judges will need to be exceptionally proactive in managing cases where litigants in person are involved, particularly where the other party has legal representation, to ensure that the litigant in person is not disadvantaged in the proceedings. I hope this helps.
ProudGrandparents - 6-Mar-17 @ 12:32 PM
we have to go to court and represent our self as we cant afford costs we are grandparents, the problem we have is our age and health so social services say i am 53 and my husband is 70 . i am ashmatic but its under controll my husband has c.o.p.d witch is also under control not getting worse. i will admit im loosing faith in getting her as we got no soliciter. please can you advise me is it worth any more upset or are we just banging our head on a brick wall
grandparents - 5-Mar-17 @ 4:32 PM
Vicky - Your Question:
I receive carers allowance for my daughter she has disabilities and also depression. Due to a brain injury 15 years ago.she as 4 children which I also care for but because of this I cannot get a job as most my time is taken caring for them all. I recently received a inheritance from the deaf of my father and all my benefits where stopped apart from my carers.so I am now living off what my father left me.is there any help out there for people like me.it isn't my fault I can't work.

Our Response:
I'm afraid anyone who has over a specific amount of money in savings, will have their means-tested benefits stopped. I can only direct you to Turn2Us via the link here which may be able to help you further.
ProudGrandparents - 17-Feb-17 @ 11:18 AM
I receive carers allowance for my daughter she has disabilities and also depression. Due to a brain injury 15 years ago.she as 4 children which I also care for but because of this I cannot get a job as most my time is taken caring for them all. I recently received a inheritance from the deaf of my father and all my benefits where stopped apart from my carers.so I am now living off what my father left me.is there any help out there for people like me.it isn't my fault I can't work.
Vicky - 16-Feb-17 @ 3:03 PM
Meg - Your Question:
I am a grandmother bringing up grandchild for past 16 years he is at college at the moment, getting ready to go on to do university courses at the the same college instead of going away he wants to stay at home. All the benefit iget for him stops eg child benefit and child tax credit and maintenance. He is applying for a grant but we will not have SA much money to live on as I am only on state pension. I need help to see if there is anything I can claim to help with expenses to help with our lives. Thanks

Our Response:
You may be able to take the matter to court in order to apply to extend child maintenance. You may wish to speak directly to the CMS to see what the best option is to apply. Some courts will extend child maintenance if the child is in financial need and the non-resident parents are financially able to continue paying.
ProudGrandparents - 10-Feb-17 @ 10:43 AM
I am a pensioner raising my grandson since he was 3 he is now 19 about to leave college course in June when all bbenifits will stop, he is going on to do a university course at the same college instead of leaving home. This leaves me with just my pension and pension credit is there any help for me he will get a bursery to help with college work but I need help for providing for him at home. Thanks
Meg - 9-Feb-17 @ 1:52 PM
I am a grandmother bringing up grandchild for past 16 years he is at college at the moment, getting ready to go on to do university courses at the the same college instead of going away he wants to stay at home. All the benefit iget for him stops eg child benefit and child tax credit and maintenance. He is applying for a grant but we will not have SA much money to live on as I am only on state pension. I need help to see if there is anything I can claim to help with expenses to help with our lives. Thanks
Meg - 9-Feb-17 @ 8:02 AM
My daughter passed away aged 19 and she left a 6 week old little girl whom I have legal guardianship for . I have looked after her for 9 years . She used to go and see her paternal grandparent on a Saturday but this was stopped as they were saying nasty hurtful things to her and it was upsetting her . They took me to court and I want to do a parental plan so they can see her during week and not over night but I'm not sure how to do this . Any help would be totally appreciated. Tia.
Jojo - 4-Feb-17 @ 9:51 AM
None - Your Question:
I am a single grandparent who has had residency of my grandson for six years, although I am recieving tax credits and family allowance I am now on job seekers allowance and having to look for work at 58 and bringing up a six year old I feel I will struggle. I have written twice to my MP expressing my concerns all she says is I am treated as a single parent which I believe is unfair. J brennan

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this, you seem to have slipped through the net into a grey area. Fifty-eight is a tough age to be a full-time parent to a young child, but also have try to find work. I can only suggest you try Granparent Plus link here and Turn2Us here. Also, can you get help from the parents of your grandchild i.e if you have residency and either/both mother and father are working, then you can claim child maintenance. I hope this helps.
ProudGrandparents - 24-Jan-17 @ 12:16 PM
Love them - Your Question:
I look after two grandchildren two days a week from 7am to 6pm. Are there any benefits I can claim?

Our Response:
Please see Turn2Us link here which should help you further.
ProudGrandparents - 24-Jan-17 @ 10:19 AM
I am a single grandparent who has had residency of my grandson for six years, although i am recieving tax credits and family allowance i am now on job seekers allowance and having to look for work at 58 and bringing up a six year old i feel i will struggle. I have written twice to my MP expressing my concerns all she says is I am treated as a single parent which i believe is unfair. J brennan
None - 23-Jan-17 @ 3:58 PM
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