Allowances and tax credits
Carer's Allowance is a benefit for people who care for a child who gets Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate. You may be eligible, depending on various circumstances and your weekly earnings (if you earn less than £95 pounds a week after certain deductions).
"A couple of weeks ago I filled in an on-line form to find out if I can get the above. Got a letter today saying I am eligible! I'm just so pleased! I Googled Carer's Allowance, got straight to the right place and the form was really easy to complete." Davros
If you are under retirement age, there are certain benefits that you're be entitled to claim for:
Income Support is extra money for people who are on a low income (including not working). You do not have to sign on as unemployed, so you can apply if you are not actively looking for work. You may be entitled to this if you are a carer and have a low income (and low savings).
If you're out of work or working less than 16 hours a week on average, you may be able to get Jobseeker's Allowance. To be eligible, you must be available for work and actively seeking work (the clue is in the job-seeker bit).
You need to claim for tax credits as a couple (obviously by yourself if you're a single parent).
"The tax credit system is primarily to support families on low incomes." bigpolarbear
Child Tax Credit can be claimed by anyone who is working and has a dependent child (whether or not the child has special needs). The amount is based on your circumstances. Any money due will be sent to the person who has the primary caring responsibility for the child or children.
If your child is eligible for the middle or higher rate of DLA, then you may be entitled to more Child Tax Credits – so bear this in mind when you're applying.
"I phoned the benefits office today to request DLA forms. A very nice man told me that if I get middle or higher rate then I may be entitled to an increase in child tax credits." TheodoresMummy
This is extra money for families with children where at least one parent works 16 hours a week or more (other groups can also claim). The amount you get will depend on your circumstances and annual income, but not savings. You may qualify for help towards childcare costs.
If you are entitled to the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, this will be paid to the person with primary childcare responsibility (alongside payments of Child Tax Credit), rather than the person who is working. Yes, it is a tad complicated.