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Single Working Parent Benefits and Entitlements

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 12 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Benefits Parent Children Working

There are many types of benefits and entitlements available to parents. Some are designed expressly for single parents, while others are only for single working parents. You will need to look carefully to see which category you fit into, and you may have to make changes if your own circumstances change.

Benefits and Entitlements Include

  • New Deal for Lone Parents
  • Income Support
  • Housing/Council Tax Benefit
  • Sure Start Maternity Grant
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Maintenance

New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP)

The NDLP is not only for parents who are not working, it is also for those who work 16 hours a week or less and are looking to get back into full-time employment. It can provide you with the training you need to get a better job, as well as help with writing CV's, improving your job interview skills etc.

Additionally, the NDLP can also provide you with money to help pay for transport and/or childcare costs as you look for employment, have a job interview, begin work etc.

Income Support

Any single parent who earns a low income – and is either unemployed or works only 16 hours a week or less - can get Income Support and/or Housing Benefit. Apart from monetary payments, you can also receive free dental care, prescriptions, school meals, Housing Benefit, and Council Tax Benefit. You also must have savings of less than £16,000 to qualify.

Housing/Council Tax Benefit

Any person who pays rent and is on a low income may qualify. You will have part of your rent paid and it does not matter if you are working or not. For Housing Benefit, the amount you receive may change if you have savings over £3,000. If your income and savings are below the government cut-off, you may also get payments toward your Council Tax.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

If you are pregnant you can qualify for a £500 Sure Start Maternity Grant to enable you to buy baby items. This is available to both single mums, and those who are part of a couple, but depends on income.

Child Tax Credits

Not only single parents can get this benefit. Any parent can qualify for child tax credit by fitting the means-tested profile and having to look after any child under age 16. You may also qualify for credit once the children are a bit older you may if they are in full-time training or education.

There are two forms of CTC: a family element and a child element. If you have a new baby, a disabled child or a severely disabled child you may get additional money, and you will get more for each child you have.

Working Tax Credit

Formerly the Working Families Tax Credit, the Working Tax Credit, or WTC, aims to help people who earn the least money. This entitlement is also means-tested, and is paid to people who work 16 hours a week or more, either self-employed or employed by someone else. You must work in the UK and the amount you get will depend on your income. Tax credits to help with childcare costs may come as part of the WTC.

Child Benefit

Virtually anyone with a child aged 16 or under is entitled to this benefit, which is paid monthly and given out regardless of income or personal circumstance. This can be extended beyond the age of 16 if the child is in full time 'non advanced' education or on an approved training course. Register after your child's birth and the money should soon be winging its way to you. It goes directly to the person who looks after the child, so if you have custody the money will go to you.

Child Maintenance: Changes to the Law

You may be eligible to receive Child Maintenance from the father of your children. And the good news is that the government has announced that from 2010 single parents who on Income Support will also be able to keep any child maintenance they receive. It is estimated that this ruling will help lift more than 30,000 children out of poverty.

A variety of benefits are available to single parents, as well as single parents who work. Just because you earn an income doesn't mean you are not entitled to extra help. Speak to your local Benefits Office is you are unclear about which benefits you believe you have the right to receive. If you're planning on working for yourself you should read our feature on how business will affect your benefits.

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[Add a Comment]
@cat - while you're still in receipt of child benefit, your benefits shouldn't be affected.
SaraR - 13-Apr-18 @ 11:10 AM
Hi im a single mum with three children. My oldest who is 15 has just got a saturday jobcan i still claim benefits or will they cut my benefits because of her 7 hours she going to be doing on saturday even though shes still at school? Can anyone help
Cat - 12-Apr-18 @ 1:54 PM
Jackamoo - Your Question:
Hi I’m looking 4 some advice, I’m a single working parent, I’ve been working 18hrs a week 4 the last 5 years, 2 weeks ago my employer has cut my hours 2 12hrs a week she has said this is only short term till my work place picks up in work again , my question is if this only carry’s on 4 a month or so do I hav 2 tell tax credits my hrs hav been cut

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here, which will help answer your question.
AWorkingMum - 10-Apr-18 @ 10:51 AM
Hi I’m looking 4 some advice, I’m a single working parent, I’ve been working 18hrs a week 4 the last 5 years, 2 weeks ago my employer has cut my hours 2 12hrs a week she has said this is only short term till my work place picks up in work again , my question is if this only carry’s on 4 a month or so do I hav 2 tell tax credits my hrs hav been cut
Jackamoo - 9-Apr-18 @ 1:33 PM
Maddymoo - Your Question:
I'm seeking advice for my daughter. She has a 4 year old child and has been living with her father, sharing bedroom with her son. Her father has mental health issues and is prone to violent outbursts. He hasn't hit my daughter but she can no longer live there with her son. She works, and my grandson is at a local nursery, due to start school in September. She has been to the local LEA for advice about housing but didn't receive any advice - she arrived 10 minutes before the appointment (9am) and there were already 23 people there waiting to be seen. When she asked how long she might have to wait she was told she could be there all day. She had to take her son to nursery, and get to work.so she could not wait there all day.She's on minimum wage and zero contract hours and is looking for another job but nothing has come up yet. She's 21 years old, and needs a home for her and her son. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
Your daughter may wish to speak to someone directly via the Shelter link here . However, her only recourse would be to go through the official channels in order to be awarded social housing.
AWorkingMum - 23-Mar-18 @ 2:27 PM
I'm seeking advice for my daughter. She has a 4 year old child and has been living with her father, sharingbedroom with her son.Her father has mental health issues and is prone to violent outbursts. He hasn't hit my daughter but she can no longer live there with her son.She works, and my grandson is at a local nursery, due to start school in September. She has been to the local LEA for advice about housing but didn't receive any advice - she arrived 10 minutes before the appointment (9am) and there were already 23 people there waiting to be seen.When she asked how long she might have to wait she was told she could be there all day.She had to take her son to nursery, and get to work.so she could not wait there all day. She's on minimum wage and zero contract hours and is looking for another job but nothing has come up yet.She's 21 years old, and needs a home for her and her son. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Maddymoo - 23-Mar-18 @ 12:17 PM
Cat - Your Question:
I have split with my husband I work 16 hrs week 6thousand a year I have 2 children and a mortgage what help could I receive.Many thanks

Our Response:
You can use the benefits calculator via the link here, which will tell you what benefits you are entitled to.
AWorkingMum - 16-Mar-18 @ 2:44 PM
I have split with my husband I work 16 hrs week 6thousand a year I have 2 children and a mortgage what help could I receive. Many thanks
Cat - 14-Mar-18 @ 8:26 PM
Hi I’m working 16 hrs and I did get a paid break of 30 mins, they now are not going to paying forthe paid break and I’m now going to have the break taken out of my wages. Do I still qualify for working tax credit
Cousins26 - 14-Mar-18 @ 6:57 AM
caro55 - Your Question:
Good morning, I'm here to seek advice about process to follow regarding benefits as a single mum.We are 2 friends, both females, living together for 3 years +. We do live in Fulham in a 2 bedroom flat. My friend is a property manager and I am a hotel contractorWe have both in mind to become single mums and we have then many questions:1/what are we entitled to if we keep living together2/can we move into a bigger place3/are we entitled to more if we live separately with our respective kid?I look forward to hearing from youKind regards

Our Response:
You would have to speak to the DWP regarding this matter or see the link here . Much depends upon whether you are a couple or living together as single-parent friends sharing.
AWorkingMum - 6-Feb-18 @ 2:10 PM
Stapo - Your Question:
Hi I'm earning 30 thousand a year I've got one daughter who's 15 I get family allowance can I get any more help thanx you wayne

Our Response:
Please see the EntitledTo link here , which will tell you all you need to know.
AWorkingMum - 2-Feb-18 @ 3:49 PM
Good morning, I'm here to seek advice about process to follow regarding benefits as a single mum. We are 2 friends, both females, living together for 3 years +. We do live in Fulham in a 2 bedroom flat. My friend is a property manager and I am a hotel contractor We have both in mind to become single mums and we have then many questions: 1/what are we entitled to if we keep living together 2/can we move into a bigger place 3/are we entitled to more if we live separately with our respective kid? I look forward to hearing from you Kind regards
caro55 - 31-Jan-18 @ 10:26 AM
Hi I'm earning 30 thousand a year I've got one daughter who's 15 I get family allowance can I get any more help thanx you wayne
Stapo - 30-Jan-18 @ 4:12 PM
I am currently a single parent working part time. Expecting my second child am I entitled to child care cost when baby is born so I can go back to work after maternity leave?
Annie - 23-Dec-17 @ 5:01 PM
hiya..just recently split with my partner so will after drop my fulltime hours down to parttime..will i be better off financially doin 16 hours or 27 hours.any advice will be helpful thank you..
Marie86 - 19-Dec-17 @ 2:41 PM
stephanie - Your Question:
Im a single mum of a 9year old. I work 25hours a week as a waiteress. I hate my job !! O want to go bback to college and study at the moment im struggling and want to gain qualifcations to get a better well payed job in the future. How do I go about this? Could I lesson my hours to go to college? Im really stuck and no one seems able to advise. Regards Stephanie.

Our Response:
You can see more via the link here . You would really have to find the course you wish to do, then find out what help you are entitled to, then have a word with your employer directly. There is no guarantee your employer will allow you to reduce your hours. So, it is better that you make sure you are in a stable financial position with a 'plan B' in place if your employer refuses your request. If you have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks, you would also be eligible to apply for flexible working, please see link here.
AWorkingMum - 12-Dec-17 @ 10:19 AM
Im a single mum of a 9year old. I work 25hours a week as a waiteress. I hate my job !! O want to go bback to college and study at the moment im struggling and want to gain qualifcations to get a better well payed job in the future. How do I go about this? Could I lesson my hours to go to college? Im really stuck and no one seems able to advise. Regards Stephanie.
stephanie - 11-Dec-17 @ 3:09 PM
galls - Your Question:
I am in the process of separating from my husband and looking to see what benefits I am entitled to. I earn £18000 per year working full time, I am in rented accommodation, which is private. I am £550 per month in rent, Would I get some help with my rent? I am left with very little at the end of the month, waiting list for the council is years!

Our Response:
You can see more via the Money Advice link here. Also, you can use the benefits calculator via Entitled To here .
AWorkingMum - 30-Nov-17 @ 10:21 AM
I am in the process of separating from my husband and looking to see what benefits I am entitled to. I earn £18000 per year working full time, I am in rented accommodation, which is private. I am £550 per month in rent, Would I get some help with my rent? I am left with very little at the end of the month, waiting list for the council is years!
galls - 29-Nov-17 @ 2:20 PM
Hello, I'm a single Mum and havebeen ever since my Son was born 8 years ago. For the last 11 months, I have been in a job where I get £22000 a year. I pay £200.00a month childcare fees and when it's the holidays I pay £90.00 per week for childcare. I am also paying back my student loan £40.00 per month which comes directly out of my wage. School Dinners are £11.90 a week and I was wondering if I got a different job where the money was £17500.00, would I be better off? As I'm guessing my Son would get free School dinners? Thank you
JollyJ's - 10-Nov-17 @ 7:43 PM
Saj - Your Question:
I’m in a situation. Recently I’ve become a single father. I’m unsure of what to do. My toddler has to be left with his grandparents but they’re getting exhausted looking after him as he’s very active. I need to get him to some kind of nursery open silly hours if there’s such a thing? Also I have no idea what to do about child benefit or working tax credit as all income has been halved. I’m all panic stations. I drop him off in the morning to his nursery then collect him in the evenings from his grandparents. I need to spend time with him too and he’s asleep by the time I get him. He needs help with his speech therapy. He really needs me. There’s council tax benefit but that’s not really going to cover the mortgage. I’m terrified of losing the house and being homeless with a toddler. Okay maybe I’m panicking like I said but I have no idea which way to turn or where to start.

Our Response:
This is something most single parents have to deal with, so you aren't the first and you should try not to panic as you will get into a routine. If you have a job, then you may be able to request flexible working either on a permanent basis, or until you get yourself properly sorted, please see link here . You can see what benefits you may be entitled to vai the Entitled To link here. Seeking a nursery that is convenient to you when travelling to and from work, or near to your son's grandparents so they can pick him up will help. It all may seem like a whirlwind currently, but if you explain to your employer that you are having this issue, then your employer should be empathetic and let you take some time to re-arrange your life to fit in around your son.
AWorkingMum - 7-Nov-17 @ 3:30 PM
I’m in a situation. Recently I’ve become a single father. I’m unsure of what to do. My toddler has to be left with his grandparents but they’re getting exhausted looking after him as he’s very active. I need to get him to some kind of nursery open silly hours if there’s such a thing? Also I have no idea what to do about child benefit or working tax credit as all income has been halved. I’m all panic stations. I drop him off in the morning to his nursery then collect him in the evenings from his grandparents. I need to spend time with him too and he’s asleep by the time I get him. He needs help with his speech therapy. He really needs me. There’s council tax benefit but that’s not really going to cover the mortgage. I’m terrified of losing the house and being homeless with a toddler. Okay maybe I’m panicking like I said but I have no idea which way to turn or where to start.
Saj - 3-Nov-17 @ 8:55 PM
Laurie - Your Question:
I am thinking about going back to work16 hours a week can you tell me how much I've got to pay on my rent for a single mam

Our Response:
You can work out how much benefits you may receive to help you pay your rent via the benefits calculator here.
AWorkingMum - 29-Sep-17 @ 3:40 PM
I am thinking about going back to work16 hours a week can you tell me how much I've got to payon my rent for a single mam
Laurie - 29-Sep-17 @ 11:19 AM
I’m looking at getting a job for 16hours a week it’s £7.50 on weekdays and £8.50 on weekends. What benefits would I be able to claim? Would it effect my housing benefit? And would I get help with childcare?
Shish - 26-Sep-17 @ 2:35 PM
Hi Am a single mum, studying full-time at the university and living in a private property with rent help from the council. I receive child benefit and child tax credit. And because I am studying under healthcare, I get some support from NHS. My two children are 6 and 5 respectively I would like to do some few hrs work but I dont know how much work am eligible to do without tampering with my benefits.
bomi - 21-Sep-17 @ 10:33 AM
cece - Your Question:
I work 16 hours a week and I am on income support, with two daughters, a five-year-old and a seventeen-year-old. My seventeen year old just found a job which is based on a 0 hours contract. Will she be able to take the job and will it affect me?

Our Response:
If your daughter is no longer in full-time further education and training and gets a job, then your child benefit may stop, please see link here . You’ll stop receiving Child Benefit immediately if your child: starts paid work for 24 hours or more a week and is no longer in approved education or training. This may then affect other benefits you might receive.
AWorkingMum - 18-Sep-17 @ 12:31 PM
please help i am a single parent of two, live in a council property i am currently on ESA i would like to try and get back to work to improve our financial situation. I have been offered a job of 20hrs a week term time only so it fits in with school hours (although i will have to get after school club for my youngest). I need to know is it worth my while as i know its complicated with working more than the allowed 16 hours but not working full time. Please advise i dont want to end up more stressed with my mental health by trying to improve our life if it only makes a small or no difference thank you
k - 17-Sep-17 @ 7:41 PM
I work 16 hours a week and I am on income support, with two daughters, a five-year-old and a seventeen-year-old. My seventeen year old just found a job which is based on a 0 hours contract. Will she be able to take the job and will it affect me?
cece - 15-Sep-17 @ 5:07 PM
Hi I don't know if working 6 hours will stop and restart my benefit and jsa. Im waiting for decisions on my son's PIP and ESa as he has anxiety. I also applied for carers allowance, as mo one looks after him but me,he doesn't go anywhere except 3 times in 6months with me.Because of this he doesn't qualify for tax credits now as not doing. Course or in education. Im so worried and struggling on just my jsa,if I work 6 hours which I might get will it fall to pieces i can't find out even on turn to us
Velma - 11-Sep-17 @ 1:52 PM
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