The headings below link to information about the main benefits that you might be able to claim if you are a grandparent raising your grandchild, or you are caring for a relative’s or friend’s child. For information about all benefits download our fact sheet.

Depending on your situation, there are other benefits which you may be entitled to claim –  for example, maternity or bereavement benefits.

Entitlement to some benefits depends on your financial circumstances. However, it’s worth remembering that if you receive an allowance from the local authority for raising a child, this will  be ignored as income when you apply for these means-tested benefits.

If you're not sure about what you might be entitled to, you can contact our advice service, who will be able to talk through your options with you.

You can also get more information about benefits from the Citizens Advice website or use an online benefits calculator through the website.

Reconsideration and appeals

If you are unhappy with a benefit or tax credit decision, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again.  For most benefits, and for tax credits, you must first ask for a ‘reconsideration’ of a decision before you can make an appeal.  As this is a required step on the way to making an appeal it is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

For Housing Benefit you can choose whether to appeal a decision straight away or ask for the decision to be reconsidered.

Time limits usually apply – check your decision letter. If you are considering challenging a decision, you can contact us for advice or get help from an advice agency such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.