Guardian’s Allowance

Guardian’s Allowance is a benefit given to anyone looking after a child whose parents have died. Anyone who has ‘parental responsibility’ of a child is eligible. This could be because either one or both parents have passed away.

You could be eligible if both parents or one parent has died.

Guardian’s Allowance is the same all across the UK. It doesn’t matter if you live in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales. All the information below applies to you.

It doesn’t affect any of your other benefits and you can receive it on top of Child Benefit. It is also not a means tested benefit, so it doesn’t matter how much you have in savings or income.

It also doesn’t count towards the benefit cap, so it won’t affect your family’s yearly income from benefits.

How much can I get?

Currently, Guardian’s Allowance is £17.20 a week tax free. You will get the money into a bank account or building society of your choice.

The money comes every 4 weeks. If you’re caring for the child yourself as a single parent then you can choose to get the money every week instead. Also, if you’re not a single parent but you are on income support, you can also apply to get it every week.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for Guardian’s Allowance, all the following must apply:

  • You’re bringing up someone else’s child
  • The child’s parents are dead (see conditions for one surviving parent below)
  • You qualify for Child Benefit
  • One of the parents was born in the UK (or was living in the UK since the age of 16 for at least 52 weeks in any 2 year period)
  • If you adopt a child you may still get Guardian’s Allowance as long as you were getting it before you adopted the child

If one parent survives, one of the following must be true:

  • You don’t know where they are
  • They divorced or the civil partnership dissolved. Also, the surviving parent doesn’t have custody and isn’t maintaining the child.
  • The parents weren’t married, the mother has died and the father is unknown
  • The surviving parent will be in prison for at least 2 years from the date of the death of the other parent
  • The surviving parent is in a hospital by court order

If you, or your partner, have an individual annual income of over £50,000 you will have to pay an income tax charge if you get Child Benefit but it may be best to continue getting Child Benefit so that you can still get Guardian’s Allowance.

How to claim

Claiming Guardian’s Allowance is easy and should only take an hour or two of your time. All you have to do is fill in the claim form (BG1). You can get this by calling the Guardian’s Allowance Unit and it will come in the post to you.

Once you’re finished, send the form to the Guardian’s Allowance Unit. You should also send the child’s full birth certificate and the parent’s death certificates. You must send the original versions of these documents for them to be accepted.

All evidence and forms must be sent to this address:

HMRC Guardian’s Allowance Unit

Child Benefit Office

PO Box 1

Newcastle upon Tyne, NE88 1AA

It can be backdated up to 3 months if you need.

To call the Guardian’s Allowance unit:

0300 200 3101

Lines are open Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4pm.

You can also get in touch with HMRC online to ask questions about Guardian’s Allowance and Child Benefit using the following link:

You can also use this link to report any changes in your circumstances for Guardian’s Allowance or Child Benefit.

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