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Can Grandparents Receive Financial Help For Raising Their Grandchildren?

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 17 Jul 2019 | 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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My husband and I have parentalresponsibility for our grandson , We have looked after him for eight years would like to know if we are entitled to any benefits towards his keep an upbringing .
Bubble - 17-Jul-19 @ 1:08 PM
I am raisingmy 2 granddaughters since july 2017we get special guardianship help once a month I d there any help I can get for myself as not working at the moment any kind of pensions etc
Lou - 11-Jul-19 @ 10:15 AM
I have two grandchildren that have live with me and my daughterthere mum for 4years until last week when there farther had them over night and refused to send them back hes only just come back on the scene with supervised access and as applied for interim order is there any think i can do as a grandparent
granpa - 24-Jun-19 @ 6:42 AM
I've had my grandaughter since birth I have legal guardian from court.i receive £50 a week from council my husband and I are retired she is now 16 .should I have received more
Lolly - 19-Jun-19 @ 4:55 PM
Hi we have had a residency order for our granddaughter since 2009 we receive child benefit for her and would like to know if there is anything else we can claim thankyou
Rae - 18-Jun-19 @ 12:16 PM
I got a residence order for my granddaughter who's eight years old I had residence order since 12-09-2012 I get child benefit and child tax I did get JSA I would like to no if there's anything else I can claim
Me - 11-Jun-19 @ 2:00 PM
Hi ...I'm currently applying for SGO for3 grandchildren .I am in a 1 bed flat with the children .Should the local Authority be giving me a larger property . Thank you
Julie Lennox - 5-Jun-19 @ 5:16 AM
My son recently list his wife has gone back to work and I am looking after my 2 young grandchildren am I entitled to claim anything
Dee - 29-May-19 @ 1:42 PM
Hi I have got my 4 grandchildren living with me through social services as they was takin of my daughter and court has gave us temporary care of them at moment got to go back to court in 4 months my husband works but can't afford 4 children with his wages social services said they would give usabout 130 pounds a week but that's not enough as we r spending 50 pounds more a week on food and been spending like 150 a week on them can I claim any think thanks
Jo - 5-May-19 @ 6:41 PM
Hi my daughter has just died and her husband is going back to work shortly. AsI don't work I would like to look after grandchildren aged 5 years &18 months, am I entitled to any benefits as I live with son in law at the moment. I hope to move out soon through local council
Chellie - 30-Apr-19 @ 2:40 PM
My granddaughter is living with her other grandparents but wants to come and live with me. I don’t work but my husband does it will be quite a financial burden on us is there anything I’ll be able to claim towards her financial upkeep thank you
Ange - 30-Apr-19 @ 11:14 AM
Can I get hel. Financial for looking after my granson until it goes to court
les - 17-Apr-19 @ 1:32 PM
So social services put my granddaughter in my care. Which is ok but the state says I can't claim for her because I'm on state pension. Iv worked all my life and asked this government for nothing When I need help all doors are closed.Not bad for a full paying tax payer all my working life.
Encebras - 12-Apr-19 @ 1:37 PM
can some one advise me on what effect it will have on my benefits if my 16 grandson moves in whilst he attends fulltime education as I keep getting conflicting advice
pundle - 1-Apr-19 @ 5:56 PM
I have been caring for my grandson since oct 2018. he suffers from mental health problems..the social services agreed to pay/support us at £350 per week but have failed to pay anything since the 28th Jan 2019can I get legal help to make the social services pay what they owe us.... kind regards Frank
franko - 22-Mar-19 @ 11:11 AM
I have my grandson I have had to take unpaid leave what help am I entitled to
Chris - 16-Mar-19 @ 8:35 AM
I've had my granddaughter since she was 3 she's now 10 I'm working 36 hours a week I get child benefit but nothing else is there anymore help I can get kind regards zina
Zina - 14-Mar-19 @ 9:57 AM
I just had my 4 year old granddaughter start living with me I work full time and am on my own .thinking what help would I get if I give up wòrk to look after her full time as what with hoildayI can't afford to pay.really need advise on what best
Jack - 10-Mar-19 @ 11:02 AM
I have just taken my 3 grandchildren aged 2,6 and 9 to live with me. I have had to give up work, my partner earns £18000 a year can I get benefits.
Sharon - 5-Mar-19 @ 7:33 PM
Looking for advice have a 10yr old grandauhter due to health reasons i am now not working ihavebasic sick money also i am a lone grandmotherthey say i am not intitled to kinship allowance
Larry - 3-Mar-19 @ 7:08 PM
I work 25 hours a week I have special guardianship of my granddaughter I've had it since she was 2 and she I now 12 my husband walked out 7 years ago I work part time in a school I get 612 pound amonth and 75 family credit as I had to pack in my full time job for my granddaughter and finding it very had my morgage is 315 amonth can you tell me if I'm untitled to anymore help thank you
Mandie - 16-Feb-19 @ 4:01 PM
We have recently took care of my granddaughter she is 17 years old we do not qualify for any benefits at all is there any other financial help we can get she is not working or at the moment not in any non advanced education we are both senior citizens please give us some advicethank you Pauline Round H
Polly - 11-Feb-19 @ 6:53 PM
My grandaughter came live with me she only 13 I am on ESA Pipbeen given child benifit what other help can I get
H.Angel - 23-Jan-19 @ 7:45 PM
I have a daughter who's 15 years old who lives with me and I have a grandson of 9 months who I look after full time and know she's pregnant due this month in January she is still in school I also have 3 children of my own which I look after I'm am busy doing my level 2 in childcare but at the same time bringing up my grandson and know she due to have her second child I do not get help financially due to her being to young to claim herself and at school and I'm not entitled to claim anything either I find it financially draining that I'm benefit capped and that I'm trying to get into work but due to restrictions buy looking after my grandson and one to be born soon I will not be able to do my own career as my daughter is still at school is there any help I could get I live in Birmingham and as the school want my daughter to still do her education which she is they want me to look after her children upon this I have a 6year old daughter myself and attending hospital appointments with my 15yr old have also had to take my youngest with me as I'm a single parent and would not be able to be in two places at once so therefore I have received a fine by the board of education for my youngest missing time of school due the fact hospital appointments have been made for my 15 yr old child between these hours and would not be able to collect her also there not fully understanding that local authority come out and make appointments but disregard I have my own child to collect from school this has put a lot of strain on myself as I receive no help what so ever they Dont fund childcare for my grandson as the local authority have stated there it wouldn't cover the cost that I'm to fund it myself
Nicky6b - 16-Jan-19 @ 5:25 AM
My self and my partner work full time we got our granddaughter over a year ago. I’m struggling to work full time is there any benefits that we could get
Shelly - 14-Jan-19 @ 8:20 AM
#Kate.....you are entitled to the child benefit, you need to inform them as to when your granddaughter came to live with you and the benefit will be paid direct to you ??
Curlytop - 17-Nov-18 @ 9:22 PM
Hi as Grandparents we have parental responsibility and residancy of our grandaughter who is 4 years old.Our daughter ,birth mother has mental health issues and was unable to bond with her.Our daughter gets the child benefit ,she is on a housing list an waiting to move out independantly.She is not passing on the child benefit to us an we are often left waiting weeks for her to get items needed for our grandaughter ,she makes it dificult.How can we get the child benefit changed over into our names ,as this is a stressful situation .
kate - 17-Nov-18 @ 2:30 PM
I have had guardianship of my grandson for three years due to domestic violence.He has settled in great but I was wondering if there is any financial help I can get.I live on my own with Jack. I do get universal credit for jack but due to a payrise my universal credit was cut and in march I am getting another Pay rise so il probably loose all my universal credit and I rely on it for childcare payments.I am still earning below what some would call a descent wage especially now I have to support my grandson. I was hoping to start doing things for me but having my grandson living with me i have had to put my dreams on hold. Dont get me wrong i love my grandson to bits but entertaining kids can be expensive.
Tricis - 30-Oct-18 @ 7:55 AM
Me and my husband care for my grand daughter who was placed with us nearly 6yrs ago at the age of 10mths we have just had an allowance of £53 a week stopped as they say we earn enough that we don’t need it???? That money was used for my grand daughter for swimming and dancing without that she won’t be able to go I wanted to give her time to do things she loves doing as it takes her mind of why she isn’t with mummy but who cares about the children as long as the government place children somewhere makes me angry me and my husbands lives are now at a standstill where we should be able to go and enjoy our lives good job for grand parents Is there any charities available to help with activities?
Hartan - 10-Oct-18 @ 11:16 AM
I am a single grandmother aged 58 I have a SGO for my four grandsons all under the age of 9 They have lived with me for two years now I had 2 move house Leave my jobs and change my whole life style They were looked after children for nearly two years which was so emotionaly draining on me But I fought for them and the courts granteded me the order We have been financially supported for two years which had been fantastic The boys have been on holidays and I have them all in regular activities which cost money The financial support is only allowed for two years I have appealed the decision as I feel this support is crucial for all of use Now the twins have started school I’m getting Hassle from the job centre to find work Looking after these boys on my own is hard work but very rewarding I love them all so very much They are all settled with me now We have routines and boundaries But it works I am concerned if I go back too work it will be to much for me and undo all the hard dork I have done We are all very happy But I’m worried if I don’t win the appeal regarding continued guardian ship allowance I have a fantastic letter from my local MP who has supported me and my family I have sent this with my appeal letter If the local authorities turn us down what should I do Sorry this is long but I needed 2 speak 2 someone PS I have worked hard all my life and am a great believer of working for your money I have never been on befits before and find this a minefield Yours Chrissi
Chrissi - 5-Oct-18 @ 9:33 PM
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