This is a 'no brainer' for anyone with kids. If you haven't signed up for it then get on it now! For your first child you are paid Â£16.50 per week and then for every other kid a further Â£11.50 per child per week. This is paid to you irrespective of your earnings or what other benefits you are receiving. You can begin claiming it as soon as your child is born but most importantly the maximum you can 'back claim' is 3 months worth. One further point is that you need to be living in the UK 'free of immigration control'. As per above it is also important that you are signed up for this so that you can receive your CTF (see below).
For further information please see: http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/chil...t/eligible.htm
Child Trust Fund
This is a new initiative that has been launched by the government. Each child is entitled to a CTF (Child Trust Fund). Every child born after September 2002 will automatically be entitled to a voucher of Â£250 from the government (However you need to be signed up to the Child Benefit) The government will begin issuing information CTF packs in January and the vouchers should be issued by April 2005. This voucher must be invested within 12 months of issue. Each CTF can be funded to a maximum of Â£1,200 per year with no tax arising on this. The cash in the fund is locked up till the child turns 18. For households with annual income of less then Â£13,480 there is an additional amount payable. For further information please see: http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/ctf/basics.htm
Child Tax Credit
This is a means tested benefit that is paid to families with children. The amount of benefit paid is dependant on the household earnings. All families with children and income of up to Â£58,000 a year (or up to Â£66,000 a year if there is a child under one year old) can claim this benefit in some form. The amount of benefit paid is dependant on the gross annual joint income and the number of children. There is a table which lays out what you can claim - see http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/pdfs/wtc1.pdf
Working Tax Credit
This is a means tested benefit that is paid to families regardless of whether they have children or not. It is very much dependant on gross annual earnings and generally is only payable if you have very low annual earnings (less then Â£10,000 as a single person & Â£15,000 as a couple). We would doubt if this is of much use to most of our clients - unless you take a year off to study or something similar. There is a table which lays out what you can claim - see http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/pdfs/wtc1.pdf
Child Care Benefit
This is a benefit that is paid if you have children in the care of a registered or approved childcare. There are many different provisions around this and it is certainly worth investigating as I am sure many of you (particularly those who use nurseries), will be able to claim some benefit through this. The maximum you can claim for one child is Â£94.5 per week (with a max of Â£140 for two or more children). The benefit is payable until the age of 15 (so it seems that it includes schools as well!. For further information see: http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/pdfs/wtc5.pdf
Other free Benefits associated with children
There are many other maternity based benefits that are worth looking into. These revolve around what you are entitled to whilst you are pregnant and on maternity leave. These include free child prescriptions till children are 16 yrs. Free NHS prescriptions and NHS dental care whilst pregnant and for one year there after.