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Guardian's Allowance

What is it?

A payment for carers of children whose parents have died

Am I eligible?

You could get Guardian’s Allowance if you’re bringing up a child whose parents have both died.

You may also be eligible if there’s one surviving parent and one of the following circumstances applies:

  • you don't know where the surviving parent is
  • the parents were divorced or their civil partnership had dissolved, the surviving parent doesn't have custody and isn't maintaining the child and there isn't a court order in place saying they should
  • the parents weren't married, the mother has died and the father is unknown
  • the surviving parent will be in prison for at least 2 years from the date of death of the other parent
  • the surviving parent is in a hospital by court order

You must qualify for child benefit to be paid Guardian's Allowance.

Who pays it?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

What you will get?

Guardian Allowance rate is paid at £21.75 a week per child and is paid on top of your child benefit. It is tax-free

How do I apply?

You can call the Guardian's Allowance Unit on 0300 322 9080 and ask for a claim form to be posted or you can visit the DWP website to download and print a claim form. 

The form is known as a BG1 form and it needs to be completed and then posted to HMRC, Guardian’s Allowance Unit along with, the child’s full birth certificate and, the parents’ death certificates. Originals must be sent.

The address to send the form to is:

HM Revenue and Customs - Guardian's Allowance Unit
Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE88 1AA
United Kingdom

Make the claim as soon as possible

Guardian’s Allowance can only be backdated for a maximum of three months.

Is it National Insurance based?


Is it means-tested?


How long is it paid for?

It will continue to be paid for as long as you qualify for Child Benefit for the child as long you as remain caring for them.

If for example, the child or young person leaves full-time education and, does not stay in approved education or training, child benefit would stop and so would the Guardian’s Allowance.

You must tell the Guardian's Allowance Unit if your circumstances change and you are no longer caring for the child or young person.

Will it affect other benefits you receive?

Guardian's Allowance does not count as income if you're claiming income-based benefits such as universal credit.

It is not taken into account as income for the benefit cap.

Guardian’s Allowance is not affected by the High-Income Child Benefit charge so if you decide not to be paid Child Benefit you can still be paid Guardian’s Allowance.

Can I challenge the decision?

You can challenge a decision if you are unhappy with it. To find out how to do this please refer to the challenging decisions page.


Page last updated:
25 Apr 2024

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