Back to A-Z Help pages index

Guardian's Allowance

Guardian's Allowance

What is it?

Guardian's Allowance is payable if you qualify for Child Benefit for a child who you are bringing up because his or her parents have died. In some cases you can still receive Guardian’s Allowance if there is one surviving parent.

It is a fixed amount of £17.90 (April 2020) a week per child and it is paid on top of Child Benefit.

Most means-tested benefits and tax credits completely ignore income from Guardian’s Allowance; however, some Council Tax Support schemes do treat it as income.

Can I get it?

Guardian’s Allowance is not means tested and is not affected by the high income Child Benefit charge. If you decide not to be paid Child Benefit you can still receive Guardian’s Allowance.

To qualify for Guardian’s Allowance one of the child’s parents must 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 the child has one surviving parent, you could still get Guardian’s Allowance if the surviving parent:

  • is unknown
  • is known but cannot be found
  • was divorced from the other parent or their civil partnership had dissolved, they don’t have custody, aren’t maintaining the child and there isn’t a court order in place saying they should
  • is in prison and will be for at least 2 years from the date of death of the other parent
  • is in a hospital by court order

You cannot qualify for Guardian’s Allowance after adopting a child but you may qualify if you claim before the adoption.

The calculator automatically works out your Child Benefit entitlement on the basis of the number of eligible children you have but you will have to tell us if you receive Guardian’s Allowance.

Guardian’s Allowance and the benefit cap

If you receive Guardian’s Allowance your household will not be affected by the benefit cap.

How do I claim?

You should claim Guardian’s Allowance as soon as the child comes to live with you as it can only be backdated for up to 3 months. 

You can claim by filling in a claim and sending it to the Guardian’s Allowance Unit along with the child’s birth certificate and the parents’ death certificate/s – you must send the original certificates.

You can go to the GOV.UK website to download a claim form

You can also get a claim form by calling the Guardian’s Allowance Unit between 8:30am and 4pm, Monday – Friday, and asking for one to be sent to you. Their contact details are:

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3101
  • Textphone: 0300 200 3103