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Can Grandparents Receive Financial Help For Raising Their Grandchildren?

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 21 Sep 2018 | 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 live in Scotland so wondering if any of my questions will be same as i know we have a different law is this right ??
Marydoll - 21-Sep-18 @ 9:21 AM
My grandaughter moved in with us and starts college in September what financial help can we get for her
Nanny - 20-Aug-18 @ 10:17 PM
I claim universal credit my daughter has gone to rehab for 6 months can I claim child tax credits
Nana moo - 17-Jul-18 @ 8:44 PM
Nanny - Your Question:
My mother is the guardian of my two nieces as their mum my sister died in 2017 one aged 15 and the other 8 my dad her husband had also died so she is on bed own is she entitled to help financially as she struggles with having just child benefit which will stop for one as she turns 16 soon and a state pension and two private thanks

Our Response:
Your mother may find the Turn2Us site here , which will tell you all you need to know.
ProudGrandparents - 24-May-18 @ 10:19 AM
My mother is the guardian of my two nieces as their mum my sister died in 2017 one aged 15 and the other 8 my dad her husband had also died so she is on bed own is she entitled to help financially as she struggles with having just child benefit which will stop for one as she turns 16 soon and a state pension and two private thanks
Nanny - 23-May-18 @ 12:56 PM
Our granddaughter has come into our care for around 6 months I'm retired but my partner still works and I receive a P I P benefit of the lower rate and state pensionmy partner doesn't earn a large wage and I have to travel 3miles to take her to school each day is there any monies I can claim to help.
Mrs w - 5-May-18 @ 7:59 AM
@Nana - you can claim child maintenance from the parents (your daughter and the child's father) if either of them earn.
JulesN - 4-May-18 @ 11:08 AM
I have looked after my grandson for just over 3 years me and my husband are in are late 50 coming on 60 in the nest 12 mountwe get no tax credit as my husbandworks over 60 hours a week not that he wants to and our daughter will not give us perennial responsibility.I it's a joke her partner owns 2 pubs his dad works as well and nan and grandad are expected to pay for everything . We have been told because of the hours my husband works we can get nohelp my grandsonis 15 and goes to a alternative school after getting expelv ed
Nana - 3-May-18 @ 6:57 PM
I have a family arrangment order for my two you grandchildren aged 8 +9 they have lived wirh me for 4 years now as their parents where unable to care for them . I have a 13 yr of my own too, only able to work part time , I m a lone parent ,I get no help from the local authority to support them .I have found out about someone in a simalar situation to me , a couple with their neice is getting and allowance from their LA ! Why dont I ? They are obviously in a better financial position than me . This infuriates me , I have had very little support from the LA . If they where fostered it would certainly be costing them alot more money . Kinship carers should be treated the same as foster cares ! In our cases these are difficult times when we have no choice , they are our family . Foster cares have a choice , and do a wonderful job . But so do kinship carers !!
Vics - 29-Apr-18 @ 10:51 AM
Hi my grand daughter aged 16 as moved in with us,my question is we are on pip and pension credits and severe disability premium,will I get any of my benefits stopped if I declare her living with us,and how long can she live there without delclaring she's there, Kind regards Tommy
Woody - 18-Apr-18 @ 8:15 PM
Hi i have had a residence order on my granddaughter since she was a baby, she is now 16 and still in school, the payment i used to get from social services has been stopped because she is 16, should this of happend as she is also on a child in need order.
linda - 3-Apr-18 @ 11:31 AM
starlinner123 - Your Question:
I have brang up my grand son from birth he is no 7 years old I get tax credit working tax credit all the money im should be getting but I find it hard what im getting as I work part time I dont get no help any where else I have the resedentsial sorry about spelling just wonder if I cant get any sort of help from any where like a grant etc

Our Response:
I can only direct you to the Turn2Us link here , which will tell you if you are missing out on any grants.
ProudGrandparents - 23-Mar-18 @ 3:47 PM
i have brang up my grand son from birth he is no 7 years old i get tax credit working tax credit all the money im should be getting but i find it hard what im getting as i work part time i dont get no help any where else i have the resedentsial sorry about spelling just wonder if i cant get any sort of help from any where like a grant etc
starlinner123 - 23-Mar-18 @ 3:39 PM
Shaz - Your Question:
I have my grandson living with me I get an allowance from social services will this stop once I become his special guardian

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here, which should tell you all you need to know.
ProudGrandparents - 20-Mar-18 @ 3:56 PM
I have my grandson living with me I get an allowance from social services will this stop once I become his special guardian
Shaz - 20-Mar-18 @ 2:52 PM
We have had our grandchild 14 days now after social services said to keep her here and if her mum turned up to fetch her I needed to ring there emergency team however she refused to give us any money so today I've had to tell social I can not have her anymore. I don't know what will happen. My partner works full time and we have 6 children of our own. We don't get much help because of partners income and are worse off than if she didn't work but have planned for the future rather than presant. Today will be a sad day and I'm upset it's had to be down to money
Griff - 20-Mar-18 @ 6:34 AM
I only just started to look after my grandaughter.. she is. She was placed with us by social.service . My husband and i are both working.Die to this we are not entitled to any finanscial help. And it is really hard . We just dont know what to do anymore.
Geli - 17-Mar-18 @ 6:31 AM
Sweetpea - Your Question:
I am 70 years old and have had a residence order for my grandson since he was 2. He is now nearly 19 and in college. His mother, my daughter, has never worked or paid any maintenance. I have child benefit for him. His residence allowance stopped when he was 18. We are now living on my state pension and I am struggling financially, since the residence allowance stopped and have got into debt. Is there any financial help I can get?

Our Response:
If your grandson is still in full-time education or approved training, your special guardianship allowance should continue. You don't say the reasons why it has stopped and why it has stopped and yet you are still eligible to claim child benefit. You may have to speak to the DWP directly, as it is difficult to advise without knowing the reasons why it has stopped.
ProudGrandparents - 16-Mar-18 @ 10:03 AM
I am 70 years old and have had a residence order for my grandson since he was 2. He is now nearly 19 and in college.His mother, my daughter, has never worked or paid any maintenance. I have child benefit for him.His residence allowance stopped when he was 18.We are now living on my state pension and I am struggling financially, since the residence allowance stopped and have got into debt.Is there any financial help I can get?
Sweetpea - 15-Mar-18 @ 4:43 PM
I have basically brought my grandson up since 1yr old on and off he is now 8 yrs old and once again his mum (my daughter) just turns up saying she don’t want him social services feel as do I the emotional trauma has got to stop so he will Now remain where he is safe I am on Esa but can I claim for my grandson as my Esa won’t cover him as well?
Genasis - 13-Mar-18 @ 9:54 PM
@Nana - if your grandson is officially living with you and not his parents, then you may be able to claim child maintenance from either or both of his parents. Check with CMS.
LynnB - 9-Mar-18 @ 11:21 AM
Me and my husband have our 15 year old grandson liveing with us wewho goes to a alternative school has he was expled and smokes weedmy husband has to work 60 hours a week at 60 years old and not in the best of health we don't get any financial help at all except the 20 Aweek hi s mum gives us in school term time she does not gives us any when it school holidays.does anyone's no worries if we can get any financial help
Nana - 8-Mar-18 @ 11:09 AM
Hi there ..i have lowered my working hours to part time due to I'll health through being totally burnt out as I'm an unpaid carer too for my 2 grandaughters as their mum( my daughter) is poorly long term intermittently with her type 1 diabetes and depression and she is currently awaiting assessment for care package from social services but no matter how much I ring for urgent priority it's too long of a waiting game and my daughter cannot even get to obstiatrition appointments as pregnant with 3rd baby with lots of complications and I AM continuously loosing money and in financial debt through having to choose between going to work and supporting my daughter and her 2 nearly 3 children. I don't have a shared residency or receive any monies for the children including any benefits..i am so desperate for help and appreciate it immensely.. many many thanks
nikki - 6-Mar-18 @ 4:00 PM
I am a 71yr. old grandmother with the guardianship of my 12yr old grandson.If I were to move in with my 71yr old partner would I still be able to claim tax credits for my grandson
Mary - 26-Feb-18 @ 1:47 PM
Kath - Your Question:
I am looking after my baby grandson for two days a week whilst my daughter works. She gives me £20 for the two days.I am claiming PIP but no other benefits. Can I claim Income Support or Working Tax Credits?

Our Response:
You would not be able to claim for your grandchild. Only the parent with parental responsibility or a special guardianship order can claim benefits for a child.
ProudGrandparents - 20-Feb-18 @ 10:44 AM
I am looking after my baby grandson for two days a week whilst my daughter works. She gives me £20 for the two days.I am claiming PIP but no other benefits. Can I claim Income Support or Working Tax Credits?
Kath - 19-Feb-18 @ 1:27 PM
@Tree - you can claim child maintenance from the parents.
Oll67 - 15-Feb-18 @ 2:28 PM
Phil - Your Question:
I am hoping to have my grandchild live with me my partner and 2 young children 3 5 my son and partner not allowed to have her because thay are addicts am I entitled to any help baby will only be 2 months old and I dont want her to go into foster care are we classed as foster parnts thanks

Our Response:
You can see more via the Grandparent Plus link here which may help you further.
ProudGrandparents - 15-Feb-18 @ 12:13 PM
I am hoping to have my grandchild live with me my partner and 2 young children 3 5 my son and partner not allowed to have her because thay are addicts am i entitled to any help baby will only be 2 months old and i dont want her to go into foster care are we classed as foster parnts thanks
Phil - 15-Feb-18 @ 1:16 AM
I am the special guardian for my 8 yr old grandson I am 61 he lives with us as his mother died of cancer last year he is an ivf baby there is no other family I currently get £16.70 a week guardian allowance and child allowance would I be entitled to the council allowance I’ve heard of .
None - 13-Feb-18 @ 7:43 PM
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