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Can Grandparents Receive Financial Help For Raising Their Grandchildren?

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 4 Dec 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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[Add a Comment]
Sue - Your Question:
Hi I have my grandson living with me he is 16yrs old. The social worker said he was going to apply for him to claim his own benefit. That is income support at £57 pet week. That is not enough is there any other form of help or would I be better off claiming child benefit and tax credits. I am in receipt of retirement pension.

Our Response:
You should be eligible to claim child benefit if your grandson is in full-time government approved education. In which case, then you can claim other benefits in line with this. The likes of Entitledto may be able to help you further, please see link here.
ProudGrandparents - 5-Dec-17 @ 12:10 PM
Hi I have my grandson living with me he is 16yrs old. The social worker said he was going to apply for him to claim his own benefit. That is income support at £57 pet week. That is not enough is there any other form of help or would I be better off claiming child benefit and tax credits. I am in receipt of retirement pension.
Sue - 4-Dec-17 @ 7:44 PM
@Shelly. Perhaps you could work part-time. Would they allow that? They allow other foster carers to work some hours.
Billiex - 28-Nov-17 @ 3:59 PM
I have the change of fostering my two grandchildren both under years old I have been told to pack up work as I work 60 hours a week An they don't want the children left in play groups . They have said they will pay 120 per child a week but everyone knows in this day an age that will go no were near the expense of two baby's will I be able to apply for any benifits as will have no job wen they come to me
Shelly - 26-Nov-17 @ 4:40 PM
Hi I have had my grandson for two yeare now. I had to finish work to look after him. I have income support, child benefit, child tax credit. I am finding it very hard to manage, is there any other benefit I can claim to help us out.
Trouty - 22-Nov-17 @ 9:20 AM
Harlia givens - Your Question:
Hi I have to look after my 18mnth grandson my daughter in hospital last xmass she went into blackburn hospital with a broken leg but never came out.anyway I had to give up half of my working days so I only get half of a decent wage but I have to but clothes nappies n xtra food can I get help with it at all

Our Response:
You can check what you may be entitled to via the Turn2Us website here .
ProudGrandparents - 21-Nov-17 @ 2:53 PM
Hi I have to look after my 18mnth grandson my daughter in hospital last xmass she went into blackburn hospital with a broken leg but never came out....anyway I had to give up half of my working days so I only get half of a decent wage but I have to but clothes nappies n xtra food can I get help with it at all
Harlia givens - 17-Nov-17 @ 8:29 PM
Lynne - Your Question:
My husband and l have been asked if we would foster my 3 grandchildren twins aged 3 and grandson aged 2, l would have to give up work what financial help would we get.

Our Response:
You can see more via the Age UK link here, which should tell you all you need to know about the process and dependent upon what status you will have, what financial benefits you are entitled to.
ProudGrandparents - 9-Nov-17 @ 10:55 AM
My husband and l have been asked if we would foster my 3 grandchildren twins aged 3 and grandson aged 2, l would have to give up work what financial help would we get.
Lynne - 8-Nov-17 @ 1:22 PM
Suzie - Your Question:
My 16 year old grandson is living with me and is at collecollegeim not coping financially , are there any benefits available please S.Reid

Our Response:
You can see whether you may be entitled to anything via the Turn2Us link here .
ProudGrandparents - 19-Oct-17 @ 11:44 AM
My 16 year old grandson is living with me and is at collecollegeim not coping financially , are there any benefits available please S.Reid
Suzie - 18-Oct-17 @ 12:21 PM
Can i get exe for looking afetr.3 small.babys (grandchildre being oaps socail services placed them well need exe money to that im 67 yrs old and on state pension thank you rita
Rita - 17-Oct-17 @ 11:11 PM
Nanna - Your Question:
Ive had my 3 grandkids living with me they have BEEN taken from their mum and dad my husband and I ate state pensionners with nothing else they said child tax is all we will be getting is this right or not thank you rita

Our Response:
You can see more via the Grandparent Plus link here which may help you further.
ProudGrandparents - 13-Oct-17 @ 1:52 PM
Ive had my 3 grandkids living with me they have BEEN taken from theirmum and dad my husband and i ate state pensionners with nothing else they said childtax is all we will be getting is this right or not thank you rita
Nanna - 6-Oct-17 @ 3:36 PM
leejess - Your Question:
My fourteen year old grandson moved in with me ten weeks ago he and his mother do not get on ,I claim carers allowance as I care for his father I also work nine hours, what would I be entitled to

Our Response:
Your son would be able to claim child benefit and child maintenance from his ex if your grandson is no longer living with his mother.
ProudGrandparents - 31-Aug-17 @ 3:56 PM
Pops - Your Question:
My daughter has had her 2 year old son taken away from her at the moment my niece is going for legal guardianship if she is not excepted can I then step in as his legal guardian be for they decide to have him adopted.

Our Response:
You would have to contact social service directly regarding this matter.
ProudGrandparents - 31-Aug-17 @ 2:41 PM
mary - Your Question:
My grandson lives with am I entitled to child benefit and child tax credit

Our Response:
Grandparents Plus may be able to help answer your question further, please see link here .
ProudGrandparents - 31-Aug-17 @ 10:06 AM
My daughter has had her 2 year old son taken away from her at the moment my niece is going for legal guardianship if she is not excepted can I then step in as his legal guardian be for they decide to have him adopted.
Pops - 30-Aug-17 @ 8:54 PM
My grandson lives with am I entitled to child benefit and child tax credit
mary - 30-Aug-17 @ 10:19 AM
My fourteen year old grandson moved in with me ten weeks ago he and his mother do not get on ,I claim carers allowance as I care for his father I also work nine hours, what would I be entitled to
leejess - 29-Aug-17 @ 11:18 PM
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
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