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Can Grandparents Receive Financial Help For Raising Their Grandchildren?

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 3 Jul 2020 | 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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I was looking after my grandson for nearly a year his mam still had a section 20 to have him back home anytime she wanted my last payment was 29th may and waiting to receive another 2 payments for the amount of time I had him but I kept him in my money till his money went back on from finances and now he has been took of me do I still get paid for the time I have had him for
Julie rainger123 - 3-Jul-20 @ 6:09 PM
Hi I am on Universal credit and care for ny 2 year old granddaughter the court served a care order. Will I get help.of UC for being her kinship.foster parent
Den - 2-Jul-20 @ 12:08 PM
Hi just wonder if anyone can advise me on me having my 17 yr grandson live with me .im a pensioner what other benefits can I get as he wants to go to collage in September he will have no income
Zip wire queen - 28-Jun-20 @ 9:47 PM
Hi My granddaughter has been placed in my care her mummy has signed section 20 I am on UC wonder if I am entitled to benefits for my granddaughter aged 2 yrs The social worker has told my the fostering team are coming out to me sometime Thanks wendy
Den - 12-Jun-20 @ 9:28 AM
We have taken guardianship of our 2 year old grand daughter Can you let me know what financial support we are entitled to. My wife is 58 and earns 15k a year I’m 62 and earn 48k a year Please let me know if there is any support available Regards Malcolm
Malc - 10-Jun-20 @ 10:15 PM
I have my grandson living with me he’s 15 ,I’m a widow and on esa of 240 a fournight ,I’ve just been awarded 21.05 a week which is not enough to get food clothing and anything else for him is there anything else I can put in for to help me
Jano - 2-Jun-20 @ 11:32 AM
We have had our 12 year old grandson live with us for 18 months. Social services originally asked us to look after him until problems at home were sorted. He was living with dad and step mum. The birth mother has had no contact with him since he was 4. Social services closed the case last April as dad and step mum told them we would sort it ourselves, I had asked social services not to close the case until it was all resolved. I do get the child benefit now but no other financial support as both myself and my husband work. Although we are not on great salaries we are above the threshold to claim any further benefits. We are finding it increasingly difficult to support our grandson financially. He will soon need new school uniform and will have school trips coming up which we are unable to afford. In theory we are foster parents, so surely we should get foster care allowance. Please advise of anything we can claim as social services are not helping and the parents don't even see him any more
Netty - 13-May-20 @ 12:12 PM
I’m currently looking after my 15yr old grandson as mother doesn’t want him and father prefers his wife he has parental control which he won’t give up I’m not in very good health and really struggling any advice welcome
Sue - 10-Mar-20 @ 1:26 PM
I have had my grandson since birth he is 6yrs old now I was granted guardianship in 2014 it's been hard hes not seen his parents for near on 2yrs I had enquired about adoption and was told it would confuse him as I'm his nannie but recently hes been questioning what will happen him when anything happens to me him quoting he as no family its heart breaking to hear and ivw tried explaining all his uncles and auntie are family with his cousins but it dont help he doesn't understand
Claud - 10-Mar-20 @ 12:38 PM
Hi hoping someone has advice we are currently caring for our grandsons ages 1 and 2 the 2 year old has a care order shared between mum and local authority we had a positive sgo last year but now going through a kinship assessment mum claims benefits for the children and does not contribute anything financially for the little ones local authority cannot set up regular payment for them as they state the kinship assessment needs to be completed first we are on universal credit ourselves with our own 9 year old son we manage but it's a struggle at times any advice please
Kpsg - 4-Mar-20 @ 7:17 PM
We have a residenceorder for my granddaughterwho has lived with us since she was 8 monthsold. She is now thirteen. We were both on the state pension but now my husband has died so I dont get his pension anymore am I entitled to any extra benefits? I do get child benefit now for her though .
Mary - 26-Feb-20 @ 8:16 PM
My grandson as been with me since birth, he is 3 years old and social services have ask me to go for half parental responsibility but I would over rule his mother as she lives in her own place and she suffers a lot with her own disability, my grandson also receives high rate disability, I have just moved to universal credit and waiting on payments, is there any thing else I could get to help us financially?
Jojo - 17-Jan-20 @ 2:35 PM
My grandchildren were removed from there mother 8 week. And ave been put in my temporary care. I have had to pack in my job to be able to look after them. Taking and picking up from school etc. They are 4 and 6 years old. Am I entitled to any benefits
Dee - 17-Jan-20 @ 9:06 AM
my daughter died last year from cancer and now I’m bring up my 8year old granddaughter . I’m claiming child benefit but is there any thing else I can get to help . We do have a residency order in place and she spends every other weekend with her father but he doesn’t pay for her.
Trish - 5-Jan-20 @ 8:51 AM
Our 4 year old grandson has lived with us for 2 years under a child arrangement order. We do not qualify for child tax credits. Is there any other benefits/funds we can access?
Liz - 29-Nov-19 @ 2:36 PM
I have 3 grandchildren living with me I am In the processof applying for guardianshipbecause I took the kids in getting no help from social serviced I have just received childbenefit and I'm waiting for universal credit is there anything else I can claim fori get esa thank you
Bigmamma - 14-Nov-19 @ 1:22 PM
My granddaughter been with me an husband since 18months old she is now 11 we have a residence order we are now on benefits get child tax credit and family allowance but finding it financial difficult for the last 3 years so could we get some sort of financial benefit/help
Trace - 3-Nov-19 @ 2:32 PM
My grandson has been placed with me whilst dad is in custody for a year and half. He has responsibility for his child and so does mum but he cannot live with either so can I make a claim for my grandson whilst he resides with me if I'm already on benefits.
Donma - 2-Nov-19 @ 8:10 PM
I have took on my 2 grand children 1 Yr old and 4 Yr old for 4 weeks now, as they have been removed from the family home for long term, I may have to give up my full time job, I have a mortgage to pay for. My husband works full time but his wages wouldn't cover every internal bill plus mortgage. What benefits and help would I been able to get.
Wyper - 2-Oct-19 @ 9:17 PM
I have residential order for my Great Grandson, who will be 7yrs February I've had him since 2weeks after he was born HATI get family Allowance and child credit every week, I am 68yrs but find it harder now his getting older money wise, is there anything I can claim to bring more money in
Ize - 2-Oct-19 @ 5:46 PM
ive had my 11yr old grandaughter livin with me and my husband since may im on income support and dla . can i claim any benefits for her thanks
tracy - 16-Sep-19 @ 8:52 AM
We have had residency of our grandchild since 6 weeks old and he is now 8 years old and the only financial help we have had is family allowance how do we get financial help
Fozzy - 13-Sep-19 @ 5:31 PM
We have had residency of our grandchild since 6 weeks old he is now 8 years old and the only financial help we have had is family allowance how do I go about getting help ?
Fozzy - 13-Sep-19 @ 5:28 PM
My daughter died and I’m looking after my grandchildren I get esa and dla for me child benifit for then and dla for grandson they are 18 and 15 can I claim any thing else please
Milo - 11-Sep-19 @ 3:36 PM
How do I tell my daughter I can’t take care of the children 13 & 4 yrsI have them for 4 days and 4 a week then 1 odd day . We agreed that I gave up work and she would pay for the kids. Slowly the £ got lower and lower each month I have not been given anything toward expenses or food fo over a year . I adore my grandkids but can’t go on like this my only income is £75 I get from my husband. Please can anyone advise me on how to tell her I can’t do this . Many thanks for taking time to read this . from a very confused and desperate granny.
Just Lynda - 26-Aug-19 @ 11:00 PM
I HAVE HAD MY TO GRANDCHILDREN AND THERE MUM LIVING WITH ME FOR FOUR YEARS I've look after them all I have very good bond with the children they have been in a good place with there friend and school until there world was shattered when there dad came back on the scene and had them for a over night stay and refused to send them back is there any think a granparent can do ?
granpa - 14-Aug-19 @ 11:47 PM
I HAVE HAD MY TO GRANDCHILDREN AND THERE MUM LIVING WITH ME FOR FOUR YEARS I've look after them all I have very good bond with the children they been in a good place with THERE friend and school until THERE world was shattered when THERE dad came back on the scene and had them for a over night stay and refused to send them back is THERE any think a granparent can do ?
granpa - 14-Aug-19 @ 11:40 PM
Hi i got a care arrangement order 2 mths ago for my grandaughter she beennin my care sincev9th july 2018 i got no money till we had to switch on to universal credit .. and lost 400 amth of my husbands disability PREMIUM he is now terminal .. i want to know is there a fostering payment i can get for my grandaughter Thank you
Rollie28 - 14-Aug-19 @ 1:00 PM
If I become a carer for my granddaughter how much would it receive, I get tax credits
Nanny - 5-Aug-19 @ 7:29 PM
I have my grandchildren living with me since there mother died in December 2012 I get child benefit and tax credits for them would like to no how I could claim guardianship allowance for them and do I need to apply for residence ordered for them
Lynn - 4-Aug-19 @ 2:27 PM
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