Guardian’s Allowance is payable to the people looking after children who are not their own either because of both their parents are dead or one of them is dead. The claimant need not be the child’s legal guardian to claim. Those who don’t qualify but are looking after someone elses child may be able to get a fostering allowance from the local Social Services department.
Most means-tested benefits ignore income from Guardian’s Allowance. Hence this allowance is treated as tax free.
Who is Eligible?
For availing the Guardian’s Allowance, the claimant must fulfill the following criteria:
- You are bringing up someone else’s child
- Must qualify for Child Benefit
- One of the parents was born in UK
- The child’s parents are dead
In certain circumstances if the child has one surviving parent, then also you could get Guardian’s Allowance if the surviving parent:
- one of the parents is unknown
- one of the parents was divorced from the other or they don’t have custody, aren’t maintaining the child.
- One of the parents is in prison for at least 2 years from the date of death of the other parent
- is in a hospital (court order)
- is known but due to any reason cannot be found
How much is the Allowance Paid?
The amount that is fixed as of April 2021 is £18.00 a week per child and is paid on top of the Child Benefit. The amount paid is tax free.
The amount can be paid into any account, apart from a Nationwide Building Society account in someone else’s name.
If the circumstances changes, your entitlement to Guardian’s Allowance could be affected. The changes mentioned below should be reported:
- The child goes to live with someone else
- Change in the bank or contact details
- The surviving parent makes a payment towards their child’s upkeep
- The child goes for full time education or approved training
Child benefit is a security payment which is distributed to the parents or guardians of children and in some cases, young adults. Child benefit is means-tested and the amount is usually dependent on the number of children one has.
One can get the Child Benefit if they’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:
- under 20 if they stay in approved education
- under 16
Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.
How to Claim the Child Benefit
To claim the Child Benefit you must fill in Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office.
If your child is adopted, send their original adoption certificate with the form. You can order a new adoption certificate if you’ve lost the original.
If in case you do not have the certificate you need then you can send your claim form first and send the certificate later on.
In case of any change in the circumstance you must report to the Child Benefit Office . Find below the changes that has to be reported:
- family life, for example getting married
- child’s life, for example leaving education or training
If you choose not to get Child Benefit payments, you should still fill in and send off the claim form.
What is the Impact on other Benefits?
While calculating the other means tested benefits claims the Guardian’s Allowance is not considered. The allowance is not impacted by the High Income Child Benefit charge, so you can still claim Guardian’s Allowance.
Guardians who receive this allowance are exempt from the Benefits Cap.
Also See: Tax Rates and Allowances for 2020/21
What is the Procedure to claim the allowance?
The allowance should be claimed once the child comes to live with you as it can only be backdated for up to 3 months.
- The amount can be claimed by filling the claim form(BG1)
- Send the form to the Guardian’s Allowance Unit .Also send the child’s birth certificate and the parent’s death certificate/s. The certificated should be original.
You will get the Guardian’s Allowance before adopting the child. The calculator automatically calculates the Child Benefit entitlement on the basis of the number of eligible children.
You can also get a claim form by calling the Guardian’s Allowance Unit.
You can go to the GOV.UK website to download a claim form
For more details you can visit www.dnsaccountants.co.uk
Also See: UK Tax Rates and Allowances for 2021/22