According to the Office for National Statistics, there are currently around 2,020,000 women and 247,000 men not in paid employment for the purpose of looking after the family or the home in the UK. Through this blog post, we aim to discuss whether stat at home mums can claim benefits; if yes, which benefits are they eligible for. Additionally, we will also explore different circumstances under which individuals may claim state benefits.

Do Stay At Home Mums Get Benefits?

Yes, depending on their circumstances, stay at home mums can claim the following benefits in the UK:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

In addition to this, stay at home mums can also claim free dental care and prescriptions, meal and milk vouchers as well as free childcare.

They can also avail of the Sure Start Maternity Grant; which is a one-off £500 payment made to qualifying individuals. To be eligible for a Sure Start Maternity Grant, your baby must be the only child under 16 years of age in the household plus you or your partner are claiming one of the following benefits:

  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Claimants of these benefits with a child under 4 years of age can also avail Healthy Start Payments which include the following:

  • milk
  • plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables
  • infant formula
  • vitamins

On the other hand, working mothers can expect to receive their Statuary Maternity Pay from their employer as they go on maternity leave. For the first 6 weeks, they get 90% of their average weekly income (before tax); while for the remaining 33 weeks, they get £151.97 or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower). 

Can Stay At Home Mums Get Universal Credit?

Yes, stay at home mums can claim Universal Credit. As a stay at home mum, you will be able to claim Universal Credit as per the below classification, depending on the number of children you have:

Number of childrenAmount of Universal Credit
First child£282.50 (born before 6 April 2017) £237.08 (born on or after 6 April 2017)
Second child and any other eligible children£237.08 per child
Disabled or severely child£128.89 or £402.41

If your youngest child is younger than 1 year of age, you will not be expected to look for work while you are on Universal Credit. Below are details of your responsibilities regarding work depending on the age of your child/children if you are claiming Universal Credit:

Age of your youngest childYour responsibilities
Under 1 yearYou don’t need to look for work in order to claim Universal Credit.
1 yearYou don’t need to look for work if you are not already working but you will be asked to attend work-related interviews with a work coach.
2 yearsYou should take active steps to prepare for work including making a CV. 
3 or 4 yearsYou should work or look for work for a maximum of 16 hours per week. This may include training and work-related interviews.
Between 5 and 12 yearsYou should work or look for work for a maximum of 25 hours per week. This may include training and work-related interviews.
13 years and aboveYou should work or look for work for a maximum of 35 hours per week. This may include training and work-related interviews.

Can A Single Mum Claim Benefits?

Yes, a single mum can claim benefits. If you are a single mum with savings of less than £16,000, you can claim Housing Benefit whether you live on your own or in a shared property. If you live in a privately rented house, you can receive financial support to help with your rental payments.

If you are a single parent and work for 16 hours or more, you will be entitled to Working Tax Credit. You will be eligible for an additional amount if you are working for 30 hours or more. Even if you are unable to work, you will continue receiving WTC as a single parent in case of the following:

  • the first 39 weeks of maternity leave
  • sick leave from work from work due to illness
  • for 4 weeks if you have lost your job or reduced your working hours to less than 16
  • during your child/children’s school holidays (if you normally work 16 hours or more during the school term)

What Is Classed As Living Together For Benefits?

According to the Department for Work and Pension (DWP), if two people are living under the following conditions, they will be considered as living together:

  • One of them is the registered owner or registered tenant of the house while the other one continues sharing the premises with them as their main residence without having a postal address of their own
  • The unregistered occupant is using your home address for to be registered to vote, receive their mail, benefits claim and tax payments
  • Both occupants share a joint account

If the above conditions apply to a couple and they choose to live together only to claim more benefits, they may be held guilty of benefits fraud.

Can You Claim Benefits When Separated But Living Together?

Yes, you can claim benefits if you and your partner choose to separate as a couple but continue living together. However, if you were claiming benefits as a couple, they may be reduced to single person claims. On the other hand, being separated may make you and your partner eligible for certain other benefits that you were unable to claim before.

If you and your partner were jointly claiming benefits as a couple, it is advisable for you to inform Job Centre and HMRC of the change in your relationship status as you may no longer qualify for the same amount. Alternatively, you may now be able to claim certain other state benefits due to your single status.

If there are children involved, the parent with the main care responsibility of the children will be eligible for a Working Tax Credit if they work 16 hours a week.

Can 17-Year-Olds Living At Home Claim Benefits?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you are a 17-year-old living at home, with your parents in the UK. However, the fact that you live with your parents may reduce the monetary amount of your benefits claim. Additionally, if you are in full-time education, apprenticeship or training, you may not qualify for Universal Credit.

In certain cases, once individuals are over 16 years old, they can start claiming their Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments directly; while other benefits will still be claimed by their parents.

17-year-olds who do not live at home with their parents may be entitled to Universal Credit as well as Jobseekers Allowance. If someone is 16 or 17 years of age, expecting a child or already has one (or more), they may additionally be able to claim Income Support.

 

Can You Claim Benefits Working 16 Hours A Week?

If you claim any of the following benefits, your claim may be affected by working 16 hours a week:

  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance

However, if you fall into any of the below categories, you can claim benefits and continue working for 16 hours or more:

  • Carers
  • Disabled people on a low income (due to disability)
  • Foster parents
  • Local Councillors 
  • People on certain training schemes
  • People living in residential care or a nursing home
  • Self-employed childminders
  • Share fishermen
  • Special occupations (such as. lifeboatmen, part-time firemen, Territorial Army, Volunteer Reserves and coastguards)
  • Volunteers

What Are Means-Tested Benefits?

Means-tested benefits are those state benefits that are calculated on the basis of someone’s income, savings and capital. This is the reason why when someone is considered to be sharing your house or you and a partner appear to live together, their income and savings are also taken into account for your benefits claim and reduce the amount that you were receiving earlier.

Means-tested benefits include the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance 
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance 
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Council Tax Reduction 
  • Pension Credit 
  • Child Tax Credit 
  • Working Tax Credit 
  • Universal Credit

Conclusion:

The details regarding benefits claims in this article have made it clear that stay at home mums can claim benefits, and the payment that they receive will rise with the number of children in their household. If a stay at home mother is claiming universal credit, they will not be expected to look for work as long as their youngest child is younger than 3 years of age.

FAQs: Do Stay At Home Mums Get Benefits?

What benefits can stay at home mums claim?

Stay at home mums in the UK can claim Pension Credit, Income Support, Universal Credit,

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. 

Can a housewife claim Universal Credit?

Yes, a housewife can claim Universal Credit. If you are a housewife and your youngest child is younger than 1 year of age, you will not be expected to look for work while you are on Universal Credit.

Who Is Eligible For Universal Credit?

To qualify for Universal Credit, claimants must be aged between 18, unemployed or on a low income, experiencing high costs for child care, suffering from a disability or health condition, caring for someone else and the total savings between the claimant and their partner are less than £6,000.

How can stay at home moms live financially?

Stay at home moms can manage their finances by altering their spending, managing a budget and looking for work from home job opportunities or part-time work that they may be able to transition to when need be.

Is it cheaper to be a stay at home mom?

While some individuals may find it more financially feasible to be a stay at home by saving on childcare costs; others may need the additional income that comes with a job. However, if someone is unable to find a job to cover their living expense, being a stay at home and claiming benefits may prove to be a cheaper option for them.

References:

Universal Credit: further information for families – GOV.UK

Can I be a stay at home mum and claim Universal Credit?

Stay at Home Parents: Benefits You May Be Entitled to | Mr Lender.

Your rights and benefits – BabyCentre UK

When do the DWP or HMRC treat a couple as living together for benefit?

Separated But Living Together | Divorce-Online

Claims by 16 and 17-year-olds

How are benefits affected by hours worked? – Turn2us

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