Home > Raising Grandchildren > Can Grandparents Receive Financial Help For Raising Their Grandchildren?

Can Grandparents Receive Financial Help For Raising Their Grandchildren?

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 15 Aug 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
My 17 year old daughter (at college) is expecting her first baby in February 2018.I currently claim Child Tax Credits for her (and her younger sister), and of course, when the baby comes along, it will be living under my roof with me (I'm a single parent ... oh, this doesn't sound good but I am not a benefit scrounger).Do I continue claiming for my own daughters AND the my grandchild when it comes along, as it's mother will still be at college?
MrsM - 15-Aug-17 @ 9:36 PM
I am about to get resident order for my 4 grandkids am i entitled to an allowance besides child benefit and tax credits for the children ages are 14 13 2 1 I have got to move house as I need 3 bedrooms what help can I get I have my own business but it is my first year I claim working tax will I get any help at all
Avon - 1-Aug-17 @ 12:30 AM
I've my granddaughter from birth on residence order I've always had child benefit for her now social services are taking her family allowance y of her residence money every fortnight is this right?????
Nelly - 21-Jul-17 @ 10:44 PM
Curlytop - Your Question:
HiMy daughter has four children, she's has made some poor decisions lately and her health isn't great, she struggles being a single parent, my question is, how can I make sure, should 'anything happen' and social care get involved, that the children come to me to live, dads are not in a position to take full custody, my husband and I are foster carers and prepared to take them on full time. I worry about their future should anything happen to my daughter.

Our Response:
You can see more via the Family Lives link here which should tell you all you need to know.
ProudGrandparents - 18-Jul-17 @ 3:28 PM
Hi My daughter has four children, she's has made some poor decisions lately and her health isn't great, she struggles being a single parent, my question is, how can I make sure, should 'anything happen' and social care get involved, that the children come to me to live, dads are not in a position to take full custody, my husband and I are foster carers and prepared to take them on full time. I worry about their future should anything happen to my daughter.
Curlytop - 18-Jul-17 @ 11:56 AM
ken - Your Question:
My wife and I have had my granddaughter with us since birth on a residence order she is now 17 help and wanting to go on to university my wife works pt and I am unemployed reg disabled we also have our grandson who as been living with us for the past 6yrs but without any order My question is can we get any financial help with putting my granddaughter through university

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here which may help point you in the right direction. Also, the Turn2Us link here may help further.
ProudGrandparents - 7-Jul-17 @ 4:15 PM
Me and my partner have had ower to grandchildren in are care for the last 14yrs after repeated attempts to get residence allowance we were granted it in 2016.we have now applied for the back dated allowance but head of social services has told us it all depends on th children's needs at the time but because they never bothered to do any assessments from 2005 till 2015 though no fault of mine they only have my word about their needs.and if they find no special circumstances I am not entitled to back dated money is this right or just another attempt to fob us off.
Ellie - 7-Jul-17 @ 1:13 PM
my wife and I have had my granddaughter with us since birth on a residence order she is now 17 helpand wanting to go on to university my wife works pt and I am unemployed reg disabled we also have our grandson who as been living with us for the past 6yrs but without any order My question is can we get any financialhelp with putting my granddaughter through university
ken - 7-Jul-17 @ 8:07 AM
Linda Morris - Your Question:
I have been raising my granddaughter since she was 4days old. I can no longer do it financially do it anymore. I don't know where the mother is the father lives wih me but des nothing will not give me custody after 17 years how can I get financial support to help me I'm 68 years old can I get assistance for her until she's 18?

Our Response:
You would not be able to claim if the father of your child is the person who has Parental Responsibility. Any claims would be made by him.
ProudGrandparents - 4-Jul-17 @ 11:32 AM
I have been raising my granddaughter since she was 4days old.. I can no longer do it financially do it anymore. I don't knowwhere the mother is the father lives wih me but des nothing will not give me custody after 17 yearshow can I getfinancial support to help me I'm 68 yearsoldcan I get assistance for her until she's 18?
Linda Morris - 3-Jul-17 @ 6:32 PM
@Daisymaisy - I don't think you'd be entitled to anything because it's within the family and your daughter should be entitled to benefits as a single parent. Your daughter would have to pay you directly for board and logding. This is not a case of fostering, looking after your own kin is considered a labour of love! Regards, Rose.
Petal. - 3-Jul-17 @ 12:13 PM
My granddaughter was a child in need after birth as my daughter was in a refuge. I asked my daughter to stay with me whilst being assessed by Social care. I am a foster carer from a different local authority. At the end of the assessment the dentified need was....my daughter needs to live on a full time and permanent basis with me and my husband to be supported practically and emotionally. If my daughter wishes to move out and live independently then this should be planned and in the best interests of both mother and child. I do not receive any support financial or training from the local authority who assessed my daughter. My granddaughter is 18 weeks old now and my daughter is afraid to leave in case they start safeguarding again. I have asked for a fee to be back dated. Can you advise me please?
Daisymaisy - 2-Jul-17 @ 10:21 PM
Witchy woman- Your Question:
My husband and I have looked after our granddaughter full time.Since the death of her mum.died when she was 8mths old. Her father has no involvement at all. Does 'that want to know. Apart from child benefit and guardian allowance, we get no financial help. Is there any thing else we can claim.

Our Response:
If the father is earning, you should be entitled to claim child maintenance for your granddaughter, please see link here .
ProudGrandparents - 30-Jun-17 @ 3:02 PM
My husband and I have looked after our granddaughter full time .Since the death of her mum .died when she was 8mths old. Her father has no involvement at all. Does 'that want to know. Apart from child benefit and guardian allowance, we get no financial help. Is there any thing else we can claim.
Witchy woman - 29-Jun-17 @ 9:04 PM
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
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ProudGrandparents website. Please read our Disclaimer.