Are you missing out on financial entitlements?

On the day that UK interest rates have gone up for the first time in 10 years, it’s even more important that parents know about financial help available to them.

Our Family Benefits Advisers regularly speak to parents who miss out because they do not realise they could be eligible for support. Here are some of the common myths around claiming financial support.

Myth: My household income is over £26,000 so I am not entitled to claim Tax Credits.

The £26,000 threshold applies where there is only one child in the household and no registered childcare and/or disabilities. Depending on circumstances, the thresholds can be much higher, e.g. where there is one child in the household who is in full-time childcare, it increases to approximately £41,000, for two children with full-time childcare costs of £300 a week or more it is around £59,000.

Myth: I’m a single parent—if I work 16 hours or more I will lose all my benefits, so I am better off not working.

If you work 16 hours or more you may be entitled to both Child Tax and Working Tax Credit as well as help with your rent and rates. A couple working 24 hours or more between them may also be entitled, depending on their joint income. You may also be entitled to claim up to 70% of your registered childcare costs through your Tax Credits.

Myth: I will only get help with rent and/or rates if I am on Income Support or other income-related benefit.

Financial help is available towards rent and rates for working parents on a low income.  How much Housing Benefit you receive will also be dependent upon your circumstances, such as how many children you have and whether there are any disabilities in the household.

Myth: I cannot claim Tax Credits and Childcare Vouchers at the same time.

Many parents can claim Tax Credits and Childcare Vouchers at the same time.  When reporting childcare costs to Tax Credits you must reduce your childcare bill by any amount you pay through the Childcare Voucher Scheme.

To check if you are entitled to financial support, for information on support available with the cost of childcare, or any other childcare and work-related issue, contact Employers For Childcare’s Family Benefits Advice Service on 028 9267 8200 or email