Single dads: money

Checking your eligibility for benefits and tax credits

If you’ve recently become a single parent, you may be entitled to different benefits and tax credits, an increased amount, or you may now be eligible for the first time.

Check your eligibility for benefits and tax credits with the Turn2Us online calculator and find out more about the different types of benefits and tax credits available on our money page. You can also call our helpline for help checking your eligibility and entitlements.

If your child is under five, check our guide to the benefits you can claim here. If your child is over five, check our factsheet about jobseekers’ allowance here. If you’re unable to work due to ill health or disability, you may be able to claim employment and support allowance.

If you’re working you may now be able to claim tax credits for the first time, or you may be entitled to an increase now your circumstances have changed. Our factsheet benefits and tax credits if you work 16 hours a week or more has more information on tax credits and benefits if you’re employed

How to claim tax credits or universal credit

You can start the tax credits claim process online, or by telephone. Find out more about tax credits and other benefits in our factsheet benefits and tax credits if you work 16 hours a week or more.

In some areas, you will be told to claim universal credit instead of tax credits. Universal credit is a new benefit system that replaces tax credits. If this applies in your case, you will be told more about universal credit and what to do when you first make a tax credit claim. Our helpline can advise you if you’re told to claim universal credit and more information about universal credit is available here.

What to do if your family already recieves tax credits

If your family was previously receiving tax credits, make sure you let the tax credits office know you’re now a single parent. It’s important to make sure you get the correct amount and you may be entitled to more tax credits as a result of any recent changes to your family such as separation or the loss of a partner. You can do this online, or by telephone, webchat or post. Find out more about what to report and when by reading our factsheet tax credits when your circumstances change.

If you rent your home, you may be able to claim housing benefit for the first time, or increase the amount of housing benefit you already receive to help you rent a bigger place. If you are on a low income, you may be able to claim housing benefit even if you are working.

If you have a mortgage to pay, there is support available if you are on a low income. See our factsheet housing options for single parents for more information about support for housing costs, including rent, support for mortgage interest and council tax.

The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline can help you work out if you qualify for housing benefit and other forms of financial support. Details of how to call the helpline are here.

If you have concerns about your financial situation, see our making ends meet and dealing with debt factsheets.

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