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Guardian's Allowance

If you look after a child who is not your own you may be entitled to Guardian's Allowance.

1. What is Guardian's Allowance?

If you look after a child who is not your own you may be entitled to Guardian's Allowance.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: There are no specific age rules for the person making the claim

Type of benefit: Non means tested

Taxable: No

Administered by: HM Revenue and Customs

2. Can I get Guardian's Allowance?

You can claim Guardian's Allowance if you look after a child who is not your own (biologically or by adoption), and their parents have either both died or one has died and the other is unable to look after them, for example, because they are missing or are in prison.

You can only get Guardian's Allowance if you also get Child Benefit for the child.

One of the child's parents must also have been 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, 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. See our Child Benefit page for more information.

3. How much Guardian's Allowance will I get?

Guardian’s Allowance is paid at the rate of £18.55 each week for each child.

Benefit Cap

If you or partner receive Guardian's Allowance, you are exempt from the Benefit Cap. See our Benefit Cap guide for more details.

How will I be paid Guardian’s Allowance?

Guardian’s Allowance will be paid directly into your bank, building society or Post Office account or through the Payment Exception Service if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account.

Guardian’s Allowance is usually paid every four weeks but it can be paid weekly. It can be paid weekly if you’re a single parent or getting certain other benefits, for example Income Support.

Guardian’s Allowance and other benefits

Guardian’s Allowance is ignored as income when calculating your entitlement to other means-tested benefits and tax credits.

Guardian’s Allowance is not affected by the High Income Child Benefit charge. If you decide not to be paid Child Benefit, your Guardian’s Allowance can continue. See our Child Benefit information page for more details on the High Income Child Benefit charge.

Updated: April 2022


4. How do I claim Guardian's Allowance?

Phone for a claim form:
Telephone: 0300 200 3101
Textphone: 0300 200 3103
Welsh language: 0300 200 1900

Download a claim form from the GOV.UK website

If you have not already claimed Child Benefit, you should claim this at the same time as Guardian’s Allowance.

What documents will I need to claim Guardian’s Allowance?

You must give evidence of your child, for example, a birth or adoption certificate, and a death certificate if a parent has died. You should also give your national insurance number. If you do not have a national insurance number, send in the claim form anyway to save delays. You may also be asked for proof of your identity such as a birth certificate, passport or driving licence.

When will my Guardian’s Allowance claim begin?

Guardian’s Allowance can be backdated for up to three months if you would have been entitled to it earlier. It does not matter why your claim is late. Request this when claiming. Sometimes it can be backdated to the point you started to qualify for Child Benefit.

Change of circumstances

You must report changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to this benefit.


5. How do I challenge a Guardian's Allowance decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your benefit claim you can ask for a written statement of reasons. If you still believe the decision is wrong, for example due to incorrect information being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again, and/or appeal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

Further information on Challenges and complaints