Childcare costs

Are you paying to have your children cared for whilst you are working?

Have you told your local benefits office?

You may be entitled to additional help towards your rent and council tax if you are claiming housing/council tax benefit and you are paying to have your children looked after whilst you are at work.

You may be entitled to additional benefits because some of the cost may be disregarded in your assessment of benefit.

Will I qualify?

Additional benefit may be awarded if you are entitled to the childcare premium.

You qualify for the childcare premium if you are:

  • A lone parent working 16 hours or more per week
  • One of a couple both working 16 hours or more per week, or
  • One of a couple where one member is working 16 hours or more per week and the other member is incapacitated

You are incapacitated if you:

  • Receive short term higher rate or long term rate of incapacity benefit, or
  • Receive severe disablement allowance, or
  • Receive attendance allowance, disability living allowance or constant attendance allowance (or an equivalent award under the war pension or industrial injuries schemes) or you would be in receipt of one of these benefits but you or are your partner are in hospital, or
  • Receive mobility allowance or have an invalid carriage or similar vehicle, or
  • You have been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of 196 days or more

The childcare disregard only applies where the child/children are aged under 11 and the care is provided:

  • By a registered child care provider
  • By a school on school premises or a local authority minder where the child is aged between 8 and 11
  • By a childcare scheme operating on Crown property, or
  • In a school or establishment exempt from registration
  • By an organisation accredited by the Secretary of State for Education and Employment under the scheme established by the tax credit regulations

What do I do now?

If you are receiving benefit, and you think you may be entitled to more benefit you must provide proof of your childcare costs to the local authority who will reassess your claim.

If you are not claiming benefit at present but think you may now be entitled to benefit please contact your local office to ask for a benefit application form.

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