The grandparents grant can be a helpful source of financial support for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to apply for the grandparents grant:
What is the grandparents grant?
The grandparents grant, also known as the grandparent carer’s allowance, is a payment made by the government to help cover the costs of raising a grandchild full-time when the child’s parents are unable or unwilling to do so.
Who is eligible for the grandparents grant?
To be eligible for the grandparents grant, you must:
- Be the primary full-time carer for your grandchild.
- Receive income support, jobseekers allowance, pension credit, child tax credit or working tax credit.
- Have been caring for the child(ren) for at least 12 months.
- Not be working more than 24 hours per week.
- Have legal parental responsibility for the child(ren).
- Pass habitual residence and immigration status tests.
How much is the grandparents grant?
If eligible, you can receive:
- £250 one-off payment for taking on the care of a grandchild.
- Ongoing weekly allowance of £17.90 per grandchild under 16.
- Additional payments if caring for a disabled grandchild.
The payments are not means-tested or taxable. You can claim for more than one grandchild.
How to apply for the grandparents grant
To apply for the grandparents grant:
- Contact your local council – Your local council administers the grant so you need to begin by contacting them. Ask for the application form.
- Fill out the application form – Provide details on income, household, and your caring situation. You’ll need to show proof you receive certain benefits.
- Submit evidence – Along with the form, submit evidence that you are the primary guardian and have financial responsibility. This can include legal orders, benefits paperwork, bills etc.
- Attend an assessment – A social worker will visit and assess your situation to determine eligibility. Be prepared to explain your situation.
- Get a decision – The council will decide on your application and inform you of the outcome. This can take up to 8 weeks.
- Follow up if needed – If your application is unsuccessful, ask for a review or appeal the decision. Provide any additional evidence needed.
- Receive payments – If approved, payments will begin coming to you automatically. Let the council know of any changes to your situation.
Where to get help applying
The application process can seem daunting. Here are some resources if you need help:
- Citizens Advice Bureau – Can assist with understanding eligibility and filling out forms.
- Kinship care charities – Charities like Grandparents Plus offer advice on the application process.
- Online forums – Connect with other grandparents who have applied for the grant.
- Councils – Contact your local council for any questions on the grants.
- Benefit advisors – An expert benefits advisor can ensure you apply correctly.
With some persistence and the right help, you can successfully secure this important financial support as a grandparent carer. The grant application process may take some time, but the outcome can make a big difference for covering the costs of raising your grandchild.
- The grandparents grant provides weekly financial assistance if raising a grandchild full-time.
- Eligibility depends on receiving certain benefits and having legal care of the grandchild for 12+ months.
- The application involves contacting your council, submitting forms and proof, assessment and decision.
- Seek help from charities, forums, advisors if needing support applying.