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Single Working Parent Benefits and Entitlements

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 31 May 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]
@laura - I suppose housing would say why can't you remove the toys from your daughter's bedroom or play with her in the living room. I feel your pain - it must be really difficult for you - but I don't think you would be able to justify this. Can the doctor not give your daughter a sleep aid?
Jules - 1-Jun-18 @ 12:08 PM
Hi I'm a single mum. Working 16 hours a week over 39 weeks per year as a TA. My daughter is nearly 4 with severe speech language and communication delay. I was looking for a 3 bedroom as my daughter will be up all night playing with toys in her room so I need to have her in my bedroom and can take up to 2-3 hours to settle her so a extra bedroom with no toys or things that keep her awake would benefit.If i have a 3 bedroom my housing benefit decreases to £65 instead of £95 a week. She's under assessment for asd but takes years as she's so young. Paying for private speech therapy as NHS are slow seeing her. Seen last 18 months ago. Some nights I'm up all night and thinking of finishing work as it's hard. Some nights she up all night playing with her toys in bedroom. Due to not understanding instructions and safety I need to stay awake. Any advice
laura - 31-May-18 @ 7:10 PM
Shazza - Your Question:
Hi im a single mum to a 5 year old and had to leave my job with immediate effect on the 6th April I have just got a new job starting on the 1st June 2018 can I get any help with my rent for the two months I havent been working as I am now behind on my rent?

Our Response:
You would have to apply directly for housing benefit/universal credit. However, you cannot apply for these benefits to be back-dated, you would only be entitled to money from the date you register your application.
AWorkingMum - 24-May-18 @ 10:31 AM
hi im a single mum to a 5 year old and had to leave my job with immediate effect on the 6th April i have just got a new job starting on the 1st June 2018 can i get any help with my rent for the two months i havent been working as i am now behind on my rent?
Shazza - 23-May-18 @ 11:44 AM
@Angela - you may, but you will not be moved to a larger property unless your need the three bedrooms i.e if your opposite sex kids are too old to share a room.
Angie - 18-May-18 @ 11:26 AM
Hi I have questions I working 17 hours a week (part time) I got 2 kids under 16 and I'm single mother I leave in 2 bedroom house but we wanna move to 3 bedrooms I already got housing benefit I wonder if we move to bigger house I will still get housing benefit ? Thanks
Angela - 17-May-18 @ 3:55 PM
Shan617 - Your Question:
Hi I’m 17 years old, I’m looking to work 16 hours a week and I am in full time education? Will this mean I’ll have to pay my mother who claims benefits rent?

Our Response:
This would have to be negotiated between you and your mother mutually.
AWorkingMum - 17-May-18 @ 12:27 PM
Hi I’m 17 years old, I’m looking to work 16 hours a week and I am in full time education? Will this mean I’ll have to pay my mother who claims benefits rent?
Shan617 - 16-May-18 @ 11:03 AM
sam - Your Question:
Hi I'm am a single parent and I work 20 hours a week on minimum wage my son is 8 years old, also I get low rate of working tax credit, I have to paid most of my council tax and all my rent I get no help as such when I phone housing benefit up they told me that I don't qualify for housing benefit why? it work out when I get paid from work its all gone on rent and council tax and have no money left over for any other house hold bill or food and clothing for my son I also have to pay for school dinners need some advice

Our Response:
We cannot tell you directly what you are entitled to, you would have to use the benefit calculator via the link here.
AWorkingMum - 14-May-18 @ 12:39 PM
hi I'm am a single parent and I work 20 hours a week on minimum wage my son is 8 years old, also I get low rate of working tax credit, I have to paid most of my council tax and all my rent I get no help as such when I phone housing benefit up they told me that I don't qualify for housing benefit why? it work out when i get paid from work its all gone on rent and council tax and have no money left over for any other house hold bill or food and clothing for my son I also have to pay for school dinnersneed some advice
sam - 12-May-18 @ 1:51 PM
@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
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