Money & Benefits

Money, Allowances & Benefits

There is currently no specific benefit or allowance for kinship carers but, dependant on any legal order you may have (i.e.  Special Guardianship Order, Kinship Foster/Family & Friends Foster Care Order), you may be able to access state benefits (care allowances and welfare benefits).

This can be a very complex area of advice and we recommend you discuss this in detail with specialist money advice services, any social worker who may be involved, and a solicitor at the earliest possible stage of becoming a kinship carer to get clear information and guidance.  

Please be aware that access to local authority care allowances (e.g. SGO allowance) is subject to review on a very regular basis i.e. can be withdrawn.

There are many services in Liverpool that can provide specialist advice in relation to debt, money management and welfare benefits.  This page provides an overview of key money issues related to becoming a kinship carer.  Local links to specialist agencies are also included.

Work & Employment: Your Rights as a Carer

You may need to think about your current employment and your rights related to your caring role. The national charity Grandparents Plus provides some detailed information about this on their website around:

  • Time off for Dependents
  • Unpaid Parental Leave
  • Flexible Working

Access the site here: Advice & Support about Work

Childcare:

You may also need information relating to your options regarding your childcare and financial support: Childcare Options & Support

Care Allowances: the key facts

  • Support from the Local Authority: financial support may be available if you obtain a legal order formalising the arrangements for the care and upbringing of the child.
  • Local authorities have powers to pay allowances to people with Residence Orders, Child Arrangements Orders and Special Guardianship Orders – but these are discretionary – i.e. they don’t have to do this by law.
  • Many local authorities do not provide any financial support to kinship carers.
  • Please be aware that local authorities do undertake very regular financial reviews in relation to existing care allowances.

Welfare Benefits Advice: the key facts

  • Take a look at the overview guidance on the Grandparents Plus site: Local Authority Allowances as well as the Benefits & Tax Credits section
  • The rules for calculating the impact of any care allowance related to your kinship role on other benefits are complicated. Ask for a ‘better off’ calculation to be carried out by these specialist services. This will tell you what impact kinship care allowance has on your other benefits and whether or not it is in your interest to claim it.
  • Give us a call and chat through your situation or query with a team member – if we can’t help you directly, we can put you in contact one of the city’s Benefit Advice Services (see links on this page)
  • We also run occasional Info Clinics and Information Sessions related to financial/money issues at our base in Norris Green – take a look at our calendar to find out when the next one is scheduled or contact us directly.
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