Financial Support

What Benefits Can Foster Carers Claim?

There is a range of foster care benefits schemes available in the UK to help support foster carers. Below are some of the benefits schemes that you may be able to claim as a foster carer.
Can Foster Carers Claim Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a government funded monthly payment scheme that helps low-income or struggling individuals cover their living costs. For foster carers who may be struggling financially, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit to support you.

The key criteria for Universal Credit eligibility are:

  • You must live in the UK
  • You must be aged over 18 (which, as a foster carer, you will be anyway!)
  • You must be under the State Pension, which you can find out
  • You must have £16,000 or less in money, savings and investments

It’s important to note that if you are considering applying for Universal Credit as a foster carer, you should ignore your fostering allowance when working out your income. Fostering allowances are not considered income.

You can find out more about fostering allowances and benefits for foster carers. You can find out more about Universal Credit here.

Do Foster Carers Get Council Tax Discounts?

Paying council tax can be costly. Fortunately, as a foster carer, it’s possible you may be eligible for a discount in your Council Tax if you can prove you’re on low income or claiming benefits.

Local authorities are responsible for deciding how they will support vulnerable groups when it comes to the payment of Council Tax. Some local authorities may offer discounts on Council Tax, with some reducing bills by up to 100%.

You can apply for a council tax discount regardless of whether you rent or own your home. In order to do so, you need to contact your local council to find what kind of foster carer council tax discounts they offer.

Find your local council here.

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Can Foster Carers Claim Disability Living Allowance?

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a government benefit paid to children and young people under the age of 16 who have additional care or mobility needs. This is usually because of ill health or a disability. DLA is paid on top of any other benefits, income, or tax credits that you may receive.

If you are looking after a foster child who is under 16 and has additional care requirements because of their disability or health, you may be able to claim DLA. DLA is paid to the main foster carer to help enhance the foster child’s life, ensuring they can lead a rich and fulfilling life.

You can find out more about DLA eligibility here.

Benefits Calculator for Foster Carers

Understanding which benefits you are and aren’t eligible for as a foster carer can be challenging. It can be hard to know which eligibility criteria you meet, and how these might be impacted by your role as a foster carer.

One of the easiest ways to find out which benefits you’re eligible for is by using a benefits calculator for foster carers.

Benefits calculators are free to use and confidential. They work out which benefits you might be entitled to by asking you questions about your employment status, income earnings, health, children and general lifestyle. They also ask questions about your status as a foster carer.

Benefits calculators provide information on income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax reduction, Carers Allowance and Universal Credit, as well as how benefits are affected by your work.

We recommend using one of these benefits calculators:

At Compass, we want all our foster carers to feel supported and looked-after throughout their fostering journey with us. If you’re struggling during this time, please approach your Supervising Social Worker with any concerns you have. They will be able to advise you on the best next steps to take.

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