Parental rights and benefits
Working out what benefits and rights you’re entitled to and making claims isn’t always easy. You can get advice from the following organisations:
- Your local Jobcentre Plus, Citizens Advice Bureau, library or other advice centre.
- Some local authorities have welfare rights officers. Phone your social services department and ask.
- Some voluntary organisations offer information and advice on benefits and rights at work. Try One Parent Families, Gingerbread and Working Families.
- For advice on rights at work, call ACAS on 08457 474747
- You can contact the Child Support Agency through its national helpline on 08457 133 133 or textphone 08457 138 924, or go to www.csa.gov.uk. The Child Support Agency is now part of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC).
- If you’re aged 19 or under, you can get advice on work, benefits and housing from the Connexions service website or by calling 08080 013 219.
General information on benefits
Below are some links to the Directgov website, which you may find useful if you’re expecting or already have a child. The links will direct you to the most up-to-date information about parental rights and benefits.
For example, if you’re working and have a baby, as long as you meet certain conditions, you have the right to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP).
You may also qualify for benefits such as Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits. Find out more by clicking on Financial support for parents and children, below.
Pregnancy and maternity rights in the workplace includes information on:
- Working when pregnant.
- Maternity leave.
- Maternity pay.
- Taking maternity leave.
- Returning to work.
Paternity rights in the workplace includes information on:
- Paternity leave and pay.
- Taking your paternity leave and pay.
- Returning to work.
Financial support for parents and children includes information on:
- Lone parents.
- Cost of your child’s education.
- Help with preschool costs.
- Financial help for parents in education.
- Child Trust Fund.
- Child Benefits.
- Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.
- Bereavement Payment.
- Bereavement Allowance.
- Funeral Payments.
- Widowed Parent’s Allowance.
Financial help for families on a low income includes information on:
- Sure Start Maternity Grants.
- Community Care Grants.
- Crisis Loans.
- Budgeting Loans.
Parental leave and flexible working includes information on:
- Parental leave.
- Taking your parental leave.
- Compassionate leave.
- Flexible working.
Adoption rights in the workplace includes information on:
- Adoption leave and pay.
- Taking your adoption leave.
- Overseas adoption leave and pay.
Managing your money
The Financial Services Authority has produced a Parents’ Guide to Money, designed to help new parents plan their finances.
It covers budgeting, state benefits, coping with the cost of bringing up children and childcare, maternity and paternity rights, savings and work. There’s also a CD ROM you can use to manage your family’s finances.
Other useful websites
You may also find the following websites useful:
- Jobcentre Plus, for benefits including Maternity Allowance and the Sure Start Maternity Grant.
- HM Revenue & Customs, for Statutory Maternity, Adoption and Paternity Pay, Child Benefit and Tax Credits.
- Department for Business Innovation and Skills for your rights at work.
- Department for Work and Pensions, for online leaflets such as A Guide to Maternity Benefits (NI17A).
- Child Support Agency for information including a guide to maintenance arrangements where parents live apart. You may find the leaflet CSL301 useful (links to external site).
- Child Maintenance Options for more information about the different child maintenance options available.
Published Date 2010-09-30
Last Review Date 2009-07-28