Guardian’s Allowance

Information about Guardian's Allowance and how to claim it

Last updated: 5 October 2017

If you have become the guardian of someone else’s children following their death then you may be entitled to claim Guardian's Allowance alongside other benefits.

How it works

The Guardian's Allowance is given by the UK government to help you provide for children that you are responsible for but are not yours. At £16.70 a week per child, Guardian’s Allowance is a relatively small payment but can be claimed alongside Child Benefit and is tax free.

This support is usually paid into your bank account every four weeks, but it can also be paid to you weekly if you receive other benefits.

The effects it can have on other benefits

Guardian Allowance will not be counted as income if you claim:

  • tax credits
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-based Employment and Support Allowance.

Guardian Allowance is not affected by the High Income Child Benefit charge.

Am I eligible for Guardian’s Allowance?

To receive Guardian’s Allowance, the following must be true:

  • the children you are bringing up are not yours
  • their parents have passed away
  • you are eligible for Child Benefit
  • one of their parents was born in the UK or lived in the UK since they were 16 for at least 52 weeks in any 2-year period

In some other special situations, you may be entitled to receive this support if one of the two parents has passed away:

  • the surviving parent cannot be found
  • the parents were divorced, the surviving parent doesn’t have or want custody and there isn’t a court order saying that they have to
  • the parents weren’t married, the mother has passed away and the father is unknown
  • the surviving parent will be in prison for at least 2 years from the date of death
  • the surviving parent is in a hospital by court order

You have to report any changes in the children’s living situation as soon as the circumstances change. These changes include:

  • the children go to live with someone else
  • you go to live abroad for more than eight weeks
  • the children leave full-time education or approved training
  • your bank or contact details change
  • you find out where the surviving parent is
  • the surviving parent comes out of hospital or prison
  • the surviving parent makes a contribution towards their children’s upkeep

What do I do now?

To ensure you get all of the support you are entitled to, claim Guardian’s Allowance as soon as you become a guardian. Start by filling in the claim form (BG1) before sending it to the Guardian’s Allowance Unit with the children’s birth certificates and their parents’ death certificates.