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Single Working Parent Benefits and Entitlements

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 23 Dec 2017 | 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]
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
Sami - Your Question:
Hi im working 20 hours a week in the northeast I have two children I have only recently gone back to work after been on the esa since it came out befor that I was on incapacity can someone help me on which benefits im entitled to as all this going back to work really dosent seem worth it and is more stress on my mental health I seem to be a hell of alot worse off trying to better family life as a single mother of two

Our Response:
I can only direct you to the Turn2Us website, which may be able to help. Please see link here.
AWorkingMum - 8-Sep-17 @ 11:25 AM
Hi im working 20 hours a week in the northeast i have two children i have only recently gone back to work after been on the esa since it came out befor that i was on incapacity can someone help me on which benefits im entitled to as all this going back to work really dosent seem worth it and is more stress on my mental health i seem to be a hell of alot worse off trying to better family life as a single mother of two
Sami - 7-Sep-17 @ 1:59 PM
Singlemom - Your Question:
Hi I am currently working 16hours but start my course in a few weeks, effecting 9 hours of my shift. my work may possibly let me keep my other 7 hours. I am a single parent with a 7 year ol. what help can I get ? seriously stressed out nee urgent advice please

Our Response:
It is impossible to give an answer on such little information, you would have to see via the Turn2Us link here to find out more.
AWorkingMum - 5-Sep-17 @ 12:39 PM
Hi i am currently working 16hours but start my course in a few weeks,effecting 9 hours of my shift . my work may possibly let me keep my other 7 hours. i am a single parent with a 7 year ol . what help can i get ? seriously stressed out nee urgent advice please
Singlemom - 4-Sep-17 @ 10:08 PM
tiger - Your Question:
I am working 16 hours a week I have three children and just wondering if I can get any help with the school dinners I'm also a carer for my mum is there any help I can get from benefits from the social I don't want to go back onto benefits but 16 hours a week and the money is not covering the school dinners or extra money I need

Our Response:
You could get £62.70 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits, please see link here . You can see whether you may be eligible for help with school costs via the link here. Turn2Us may also help you here .
AWorkingMum - 31-Aug-17 @ 11:25 AM
This article is ridiculously out of date! The New Deal for Lone Parents was scrapped several years ago. Income Support is payable to lone parents UNTIL THE YOUNGEST CHILD IS 5yrs OLD - this article implies it's payable to any lone parent and makes no reference to thw age restriction. And no mention of Universal Credit - the biggest welfare reform being rolled out nationally which will replace ALL the above mentioned benefits. Sarah Knowles - you may have a BA and MA, but very little knowledge of the "real world" for those of us surviving on low incomes.
Sally73 - 29-Aug-17 @ 4:05 PM
I am working 16 hours a week I have three children and just wondering if I can get any help with the school dinners I'm also a carer for my mum is there any help I can get from benefits from the social I don't want to go back onto benefits but 16 hours a week and the money is not covering the school dinners or extra money I need
tiger - 29-Aug-17 @ 1:02 PM
Hi. I'm a single mother and I work at Hardees in VA. I make 7.50 an hour and I need help on moving out, I need a place to stay for my son and I. Is there any way someone can help me get benefits for my son and I?
Meshialashay - 25-Aug-17 @ 7:27 PM
Hi I currently work part time and my partner works full time..I live in a 2 bed very small council house with my 12 year old and partner I have a daughter sixteen who lives with her auntie.. she has got pregnant and her auntie is kicking her out.. would we be able to get a bigger council house we currently get no benefits and only just manage to pay the rent on the place we have.. thanks
Kye - 24-Aug-17 @ 6:06 PM
Emz - Your Question:
Hi there, I am trying to find out if I would still qualify for single parental support if I own my own home. I have far less than £16,000 in saving, I'm not working and have a 20 month old, although I am asset rich I am cash poor but don't want to sell and have even more change for my son who has had enough upheaval with our separation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
Yes, you would be allowed to apply for benefits if you own your own home, please see Entitledto link here .
AWorkingMum - 3-Aug-17 @ 3:58 PM
Hi there, I am trying to find out if I would still qualify for single parental support if I own my own home. I have far less than £16,000 in saving, I'm not working and have a 20 month old, although I am asset rich I am cash poor but don't want to sell and have even more change for my son who has had enough upheaval with our separation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Emz - 3-Aug-17 @ 7:46 AM
Im a single parent working 20hrs a week live in a 3 bedroom council house with 2 children under 16 how much rent would i have to pay weekly if my rent is £104 a week please help so stressed out thankyou
Mandy - 1-Aug-17 @ 11:36 AM
Midlisa - Your Question:
I am a single parent and left full time employment last year to train as a midwife. I only get a small bursary and no other form of income as I work odd shifts during my training. I have a 20yr old who lives at home with me and is currently studying full-time at uni and working a part-time job. Are we eligible for any other kind of support as we are struggling to make ends meet, I only get council tax rebate currently. Thanks

Our Response:
I'm afraid not. Your 20-year-old is now classed as an adult and therefore you are no longer officially classed as a single parent. Your only recourse would be to ask for some financial support from your daughter/son directly.
AWorkingMum - 24-Jul-17 @ 4:04 PM
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