Single parent benefits


by Lorna White |

As if navigating life as a single parent isn't hard enough, understanding your way around the different benefits you could be eligible for isn't exactly simple either.

To help simplify the process and help you understand the different benefits you might be eligible for as a single mum or dad, we've created an easy guide.

What benefits are single parents eligible for?

You could be eligible for any of the below if you meet the criteria.

Child benefit

Remember you get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:

  • under 16

  • under 20 if they stay in approved education or training

For the eldest or only child you can claim £21.15 per week plus £14 for any additional children. This is paid every 4 weeks. If the child's parents have split, only one parent will get Child Benefit for the child or children.

Universal Credit

This is a single monthly payment which has replaced previous benefits like income support and housing benefit. You can claim this if you live in the UK and:

• Earn a low income or you're out of work

• Aged over 18

• You have £16,000 or less in savings

• Are aged 16 or 17 and either responsible for a child, or are about to or have just given birth and do not have any parental support.

The amount you can claim depends on your personal circumstance as well as how many children you have. Keep in mind that you can only claim for your first two children.

Council Tax reduction

As a single parent, you may be eligible for a discount of your council tax. Visit the Government website to find out if you qualify at

Other benefits you may be able to claim

NHS Low Income Scheme

For parents on a low income, you may be eligible to get help with NHS costs including prescriptions, dental care, eye care and more. Find out here if you're eligible and how to apply.

Widowed Parent’s Allowance (Bereavement Support Payment)

If you're a single parent because you've sadly been widowed, you may be able to claim financial support. In some cases, this can be up to £122.25 per week. Find out here how you can apply.

Free school meals

You may be able to claim free school meals if you have school aged children. Find out if you're eligible to claim this for your child or children here.

Free childcare

Remember that all parents of children aged 3-4 are entitled to 15 hours free childcare per week. In some circumstances, this can raise to 30 hours, for example if you work full time. Find out more and apply for 30 hours of free childcare here.

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