There are a lot of financial help and benefits offered for single parents that will make their money management easy. Knowing the fact that single parents have a single, limited and low income, governments of different countries have come up with different grants and benefits to assist them in managing their family. There are even several non-government organizations and private associations that have come up with such assistance and their service is not limited to credit counseling or debt management.
According to official statistics, there are over a quarter of households run by single parents and having dependent children apart from the single parent family headcount. However, it is unfortunate that children from single-parent families are doubly likely to live in poverty as children coming from families that have two parents or two earning parents.
This is the result of the rising costs of food, clothing, education, energy, and childcare that is placing an increased burden on the single parents affecting their household budgets significantly. They have to make sacrifices for them to meet the demands of their children and even cut short their monthly expenses.
They give up medical care, food and other ‘luxuries’ just to cope up with the rising cost of living. In such situations, they look for sources of easy money to deal with their finance. They look for sources that will preferably not want their money back, easing their financial burden considerably.
The different sources
No matter how surprising it may sound to you, there are several such sources that help those single-parent families struggling with their debt and finance. Knowing these sources you can claim for financial help that you are legally and rightfully entitled to. This means that you will not have to borrow money from different private sources at an exorbitant rate of interest and worsen your already fragile financial condition. Therefore, instead of visiting any site you may try out these different sources:
Sure, Start maternity grant: This is a small grant provided in few countries and is a one-off payment which you will not need to pay back. It will be a lot of help for those single parents who are facing financial crunches after the arrival of a newborn.
- The grant will go straight to your bank account or to the building society account if you qualify. You can spend this amount on anything you feel like nappies, a cot or a car seat.
- The requirement of this grant includes you to be either pregnant and the baby is due within eleven weeks or you are about to adopt a child or have given birth to a child in the past 3 months.
If you fulfill this you will need to fill up the SF 100 application form to apply for Sure Start maternity grant.
You can also get discounts on several items and purchases to ease the burden on you as enumerated under:
- Prescriptions: If you qualify for a part of Universal Credit or get family support, you are eligible to get free prescriptions, sight test, dental treatment, and a lot more help in healthcare. If you are pregnant then you will get free prescriptions and dental care till the time your child is a year old.
- Winter bills: Assuming that you qualify for a few specific welfare benefits and the average temperature is 0°C or below for at least seven days at a stretch in your area, you may claim for extra money so that you can pay off your high winter energy bill.
- School uniforms: Following the Education Act, there are several local authorities that provide financial help to single parents to help them buy school clothing for their children if they are eligible for it.
- Warm home discount scheme: This other specific grants in specific countries that are given to reduce the burden of single parents to pay off their energy bills. This is not like the discount provided to you for the winter bill that is paid directly to you. This is deducted automatically from your energy bill over the winter months between September and March.
- Water sure scheme: if you have a medical condition, claim benefits, and have three or more children living with you then you may even qualify for the Water sure scheme. Though it will depend on the area you live in, you will need a water meter to qualify for this scheme.
In addition to all these, you may also get free transport to school for your child if you get the maximum Working Tax Credit.
Different financial Tips
There are also several other financial help and benefits for single parents if you know how to access it. The entitlements of these benefits and tax credits include whether you are working or not and how low is your income.
- You may get to claim for Child Tax Credit that will help you to bear the costs of bringing up your child. The amount you may receive will depend on your personal circumstances, how many children you have, and whether or not they suffer from any disabilities.
- If you earn pretty low from your job then you can claim for Working Tax Credit as well. This is a benefit that includes Childcare Element but to claim for this you will need to work for at least 16 hours a week.
- If you do not work at all or for so long and have a child under five, you are then entitled to Income Support.
There are different charitable grants and funds available for single parents. There are a few welfare benefits which when claimed will make you eligible for receiving other help for raising your child. Therefore, know about what you are eligible for first and then apply for these grants.
However, budgeting is the key to financial success and there are a lot of free budget planner tool that you must use if you do now your debts to become a worry for you. There are several non-profit organizations as well that will help you with your finance management.