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How to Claim Guardian's Allowance through Form BG1

 

Guardian's Allowance is a vital financial support mechanism in the UK, designed for individuals who are bringing up a child whose parents have passed away. Claiming this allowance involves a series of steps, centered around the BG1 form, and understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial. This three-part article series will guide you through the process, starting with an introduction to Guardian's Allowance, eligibility criteria, and how to initiate your claim.

 


How to Claim Guardian's Allowance through Form BG1


Introduction to Guardian's Allowance

Guardian's Allowance serves as a supplementary support on top of Child Benefit, aimed at guardians responsible for a child due to the demise of the parents. It's a tax-free payment, which as of the latest update, provides financial assistance to ensure the child's needs are met.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for Guardian's Allowance is quite specific. Firstly, the child in question must be someone you are responsible for, but not your own biological or adopted child in the conventional sense. The primary criteria include:


  • Both parents of the child must be deceased. However, there are conditions under which you can claim if one parent is still alive, such as if the surviving parent cannot be located, is in prison for a long period, is hospitalized by court order, or has no legal custody and does not contribute to the child's maintenance.

  • One of the parents must have been born in the UK or a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, or have lived in the UK for a significant period (52 weeks in the past 2 years (since the age of 16).

 

Initiating Your Claim

To claim Guardian's Allowance, the first step is to fill out the BG1 form, available through the official government websites. This form is your primary document for claiming Guardian's Allowance and requires detailed information about you and the child or children you are claiming for. If you are claiming for more than one child, a continuation sheet, BG1(CS), is also needed to provide details of the additional children.

 

Required Documentation

Alongside the BG1 form, you must provide original documents including the child’s full birth certificate and the death certificate(s) of the parent(s). It's crucial these documents are sent as originals to the Guardian’s Allowance Unit, highlighting the importance of ensuring all paperwork is accurate and complete before submission.

 

Claim Timing and Backdating

It's advisable to claim Guardian’s Allowance as soon as the child comes into your care. Interestingly, the allowance can be backdated for up to three months, ensuring you do not lose out on financial support due to delays in the application process.

 

The initial phase of claiming Guardian's Allowance involves understanding eligibility, preparing the necessary documentation, and filling out the BG1 form. This foundation sets the stage for a successful claim, ensuring that you provide the required support for the child or children in your care.

 


How to Calculate Your Guardian's Allowance

Calculating your Guardian's Allowance is an essential step for guardians in the UK who are responsible for children whose parents have passed away or are otherwise unable to provide care. Guardian's Allowance offers financial support to help with the costs associated with raising a child under these circumstances. Understanding how to calculate this allowance is crucial for budgeting and ensuring that you receive the correct amount to which you are entitled.

 

Understanding Guardian's Allowance Rates

As of the latest updates, the Guardian's Allowance rate is set at a specific amount per week for each child you are responsible for. This rate is subject to annual reviews and adjustments to reflect changes in the cost of living and economic conditions. For instance, if the current rate is £21.75 per week, this amount is what you would use in your calculations for each child under your guardianship.

 

Basic Calculation

The calculation for your Guardian's Allowance is straightforward: multiply the weekly rate by the number of weeks in your payment period (usually four weeks or monthly, depending on how you receive your payments). For example, if you are paid monthly and the rate is £21.75 per week, you would calculate your monthly Guardian's Allowance as follows:


Monthly Guardian’s Allowance=Weekly Rate×4

Using the rate of £21.75, the calculation would be:

£21.75×4=£87


This means you would receive £87 per month for one child. If you are responsible for more than one child, you would multiply this amount by the number of children eligible for the allowance under your care.

 

Adjustments for Additional Support

It's important to note that Guardian's Allowance is paid in addition to Child Benefit. If you are eligible for Child Benefit, you will receive this payment on top of your Guardian's Allowance. However, the calculation for Guardian's Allowance does not change based on your receipt of Child Benefit or any other benefits you may be receiving.

 

Reporting Changes

If there are any changes in your circumstances that could affect your Guardian's Allowance, such as a change in the number of children under your care or your eligibility status, it's important to report these changes promptly. Such adjustments could affect the amount of Guardian's Allowance you receive, and keeping your information up to date ensures that you are receiving the correct amount.

 

Annual Review and Impact

The government reviews the Guardian's Allowance rate annually, which can lead to adjustments in the amount you receive. Staying informed about these updates ensures that you are always aware of how much support you should expect to receive and allows you to adjust your budget accordingly.

 

Calculating your Guardian's Allowance is a simple but crucial process that ensures you understand the financial support available to you as a guardian. By multiplying the current weekly rate by the number of weeks in your payment period—and adjusting for the number of children under your care—you can easily determine the amount of Guardian's Allowance you are entitled to. Keeping abreast of annual rate reviews and promptly reporting any changes in your circumstances are key practices to ensure you receive the correct amount of support to help in the care and upbringing of the children under your guardianship.



Completing the BG1 Form

Filling out the BG1 form requires attention to detail. It's essential to gather all necessary information beforehand, including personal details, information about the child or children you're responsible for, and details about the deceased parent(s). This preparation ensures a smooth process without the need to pause and search for information. Remember, it's crucial to complete the form in one sitting, as partial saves are not possible. You have to complete it online and then print it.

 

Submission Process

Once the BG1 form is completed, it, along with the required documentation (the child's birth certificate and the parent(s)' death certificates), needs to be sent to the Guardian’s Allowance Unit. It's recommended to use a secure or recorded delivery service to ensure the documents arrive safely and can be tracked.

 

After Submission

After your application is received, the process of evaluation begins. This may involve additional queries from the Guardian’s Allowance Unit if clarification or further information is needed. It's essential to respond promptly to these queries to avoid delays in your application process.

 

Receiving the Allowance

Guardian's Allowance is paid directly into your bank account, ensuring a secure and straightforward method of receiving the funds. The payment is usually made every 4 weeks, and it's tax-free, meaning you receive the full amount you're entitled to without deductions. If you're also eligible for Child Benefit, Guardian's Allowance is paid on top of this.

 

Managing Changes

It's crucial to report any changes in your circumstances that could affect your Guardian's Allowance. This includes changes in personal details, banking information, or the child's situation. Staying proactive in updating your information ensures continuous support without interruption.

 

Challenging Decisions

If you're dissatisfied with a decision regarding your Guardian's Allowance, you have the right to challenge it. This process, known as asking for a mandatory reconsideration, allows you to present additional evidence or clarify misunderstandings. It's a critical step to ensure you receive the support you're entitled to.

 

Successfully claiming Guardian's Allowance involves a detailed application process, from completing the BG1 form accurately to managing your allowance effectively. It's a crucial support mechanism for guardians, ensuring financial stability for the child or children in their care. Stay tuned for the final part of this series, which will cover ongoing management and additional support available for guardians.

 

Ongoing Management

Once you start receiving Guardian's Allowance, it's essential to keep your details up to date. This includes notifying the Guardian’s Allowance Unit of any changes in your circumstances or the child's circumstances that could affect your entitlement. Regularly reviewing your eligibility and the amount you receive helps ensure you're getting the correct support.

 

Additional Support

Guardians receiving Guardian's Allowance may also be eligible for other forms of support, depending on their circumstances:


  1. Child Benefit: Guardian's Allowance is paid in addition to Child Benefit. If you haven't already, ensure you're claiming Child Benefit to maximize the support you receive.

  2. Other Benefits: Depending on your income and circumstances, you may be eligible for additional benefits such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits, or support for housing costs. Using an online benefits calculator can help you identify what you're entitled to.

 

Educational Support

For guardians of children in full-time education, additional support may be available. This can include help with school uniforms, meals, and transport. Local councils often provide assistance, so it's worth contacting your local authority for information on what support is available.

 

Support for Disabled Children

If the child you're caring for has a disability, you may be eligible for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children. This can provide additional financial support to help with the child's care and mobility needs.

 

Legal and Financial Advice

Navigating the responsibilities of guardianship can be complex, especially when it comes to legal and financial matters. Seeking advice from legal and financial professionals can help you make informed decisions about the child's future, including savings, education, and long-term care planning.

 

Claiming and managing Guardian's Allowance is a significant responsibility, but it's an essential support system for guardians and the children in their care. By staying informed, keeping records up to date, and exploring additional support options, guardians can provide a stable and nurturing environment for the child. Remember, resources like GOV.UK, child benefit offices, and financial advice services can offer guidance and support throughout your journey as a guardian.


As we conclude this series, it's clear that while the process may seem daunting at first, the structures in place are designed to support those taking on the noble role of guardian. Ensuring you're well-informed and proactive in managing your allowance and related benefits will help secure the wellbeing and future of the child or children in your care.

 


The Recent updates on Guardian's Allowance

The Guardian's Allowance in the UK has seen significant updates for the year 2024, reflecting the government's adjustments to benefit payments amidst economic changes. These updates are crucial for guardians responsible for children who have lost one or both parents, providing them with essential financial support. This article delves into the recent changes to the Guardian's Allowance, focusing on updated rates, eligibility criteria adjustments, and procedural changes aimed at improving the application process and support provided to eligible guardians.

 

Updated Payment Rates for 2024

One of the most notable updates for 2024 is the increase in the weekly payment rate for Guardian's Allowance. As of April 2024, the rate has been raised to £21.75 per week, up from £20.40 in the previous year. This increase is part of a broader adjustment to social security benefits, reflecting the government's response to inflation and the cost of living, ensuring that guardians have additional financial support to meet the needs of the children under their care.

 

Eligibility Criteria Adjustments

While the fundamental eligibility criteria for Guardian's Allowance remain unchanged—targeting guardians of children who have lost one or both parents—the government has made efforts to streamline the application process. This includes clarifying documentation requirements and making it easier for guardians to understand their eligibility and the evidence needed to support their claims.


Procedural Changes

The application process for Guardian's Allowance has been updated to improve accessibility and efficiency. The Guardian's Allowance Unit, responsible for processing claims, has introduced digital forms and online submission options to reduce paperwork and speed up the processing time. Additionally, there's an increased focus on providing support and guidance for applicants, with detailed FAQs and dedicated helplines to assist guardians through the application process.

 

Digital Accessibility and Support

Recognizing the importance of digital access, the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website now offers comprehensive guidance on Guardian's Allowance, including downloadable forms and a step-by-step guide on the application process. This move towards digital accessibility aims to make it easier for guardians from all backgrounds to access the information they need and submit their applications efficiently.

 

Impact on Related Benefits

The increase in the Guardian's Allowance rate also has implications for related benefits, such as Child Benefit. Guardians receiving Guardian's Allowance are also eligible for Child Benefit, and the government has ensured that the increase in Guardian's Allowance does not affect the entitlement to Child Benefit or other means-tested benefits. This holistic approach ensures that guardians receive comprehensive support without negatively impacting their overall benefit entitlement.

 

Annual Reviews and Adjustments

The government has committed to annual reviews of the Guardian's Allowance rates, ensuring that the benefit remains responsive to economic conditions and the cost of living. This commitment to regular updates ensures that the Guardian's Allowance continues to provide meaningful support to guardians and the children under their care.

 

The recent updates to the Guardian's Allowance in the UK for 2024 reflect a significant step towards providing enhanced support to guardians of children who have lost their parents. With increased payment rates, streamlined application processes, and a focus on digital accessibility, the government aims to ensure that guardians have the necessary financial support to provide for the children under their care. These updates are a testament to the ongoing commitment to supporting some of the most vulnerable members of society, ensuring they have the resources needed to thrive.

 


The Process of Claiming Guardian's Allowance If You Are Not A UK Citizen

Claiming Guardian's Allowance in the UK as a non-UK citizen is a process that requires careful attention to eligibility criteria, documentation, and understanding the UK's social security system. Guardian's Allowance is a benefit designed to help individuals who are responsible for bringing up a child whose parents have died, offering financial support to ease the burden. For non-UK citizens, the process involves additional considerations, ensuring compliance with UK laws and regulations regarding benefit claims. This article aims to guide non-UK citizens through the steps involved in claiming Guardian's Allowance, highlighting key aspects to consider.

 

Understanding Eligibility

First and foremost, it's essential to understand the eligibility criteria for Guardian's Allowance. While being a non-UK citizen doesn't automatically disqualify you, you must meet certain residency and responsibility requirements. The child in your care must be physically residing in the UK, and you, as the guardian, must have a right to reside in the UK. This means you must either have settled status, pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or another form of leave to remain that allows access to public funds.

 

Required Documentation

The documentation required for non-UK citizens is crucial in proving eligibility. Along with the standard requirements for claiming Guardian's Allowance (such as the child’s birth certificate and the deceased parents' death certificates), non-UK citizens must also provide evidence of their immigration status. This could include your biometric residence permit, decision letter from the Home Office, or proof of your settled or pre-settled status. Ensure all documents are up-to-date and accurately reflect your current status in the UK.

 

Completing the BG1 Form

The BG1 form is the primary document for applying for Guardian's Allowance. When completing the form, pay special attention to sections that inquire about residency and citizenship. Provide clear and detailed information about your legal status in the UK, including the date you arrived in the country and any permissions you have to reside and work. If the form does not have specific sections for non-UK citizens, include a separate sheet providing full details of your status and how you meet the eligibility criteria.

 

Seeking Legal Advice

Given the complexities surrounding immigration status and eligibility for public funds, seeking legal advice can be beneficial. Immigration advisors or solicitors can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, helping you navigate the application process more effectively. They can also advise on how claiming Guardian's Allowance might affect your immigration status, although generally, claiming such benefits should not adversely impact your right to remain in the UK.

 

Application Submission and Follow-Up

Once you have completed the BG1 form and gathered all necessary documentation, submit your application to the specified address. It's advisable to send your documents by recorded delivery, ensuring you have proof of postage. After submission, be prepared for possible follow-ups from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). They may request additional information or clarification regarding your status and eligibility. Respond promptly to any inquiries to avoid delays in your application process.

 

Support Services

Numerous charities and non-profit organizations in the UK offer support and advice to non-UK citizens applying for benefits. These services can provide valuable assistance, from helping with form completion to advising on dealing with any challenges that arise during the application process. Utilizing these resources can make the process smoother and less daunting.

 

Key Considerations


  • Residency Requirements: Ensure you clearly understand the residency requirements for claiming Guardian's Allowance as a non-UK citizen. Your rights to reside and access public funds are pivotal in determining your eligibility.

  • Documentation: Keep all documentation well-organized and ensure it's readily available. This includes not only immigration documents but also any correspondence with the Home Office regarding your status.

  • Legal Advice: Consider seeking legal advice if you're unsure about your eligibility or how to complete the application. Expert guidance can prevent potential issues and provide peace of mind.

 

For non-UK citizens, claiming Guardian's Allowance involves navigating additional layers of complexity due to immigration status and eligibility criteria. By thoroughly understanding the requirements, preparing documentation carefully, and possibly seeking legal advice, non-UK citizens can successfully apply for and receive Guardian's Allowance. This support plays a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of children under guardianship, reflecting the UK's commitment to supporting vulnerable members of society regardless of their citizenship status. Remember, each case is unique, and staying informed about the latest regulations and seeking advice when needed is key to a successful application.

 


How a Personal Tax Accountant Can Help You with Applying for Guardian's Allowance


How a Personal Tax Accountant Can Help You with Applying for Guardian's Allowance

A personal tax accountant can play a pivotal role in assisting you with applying for Guardian's Allowance in the UK, ensuring that the process is smooth and compliant with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) requirements. Here's how they can help:

 

Eligibility Assessment

An accountant can review your circumstances against the HMRC criteria for Guardian's Allowance, ensuring you meet the eligibility requirements before proceeding with your application.

 

Documentation and Form Filling

They can assist in gathering the necessary documentation, such as death certificates and legal guardianship papers, and help accurately complete the BG1 form, reducing the risk of errors and delays.

 

Tax Implications

Your accountant can advise on how receiving Guardian's Allowance might affect your tax situation, especially if you have other sources of income or are receiving additional benefits.

 

Liaison with HMRC

Should there be any queries or follow-ups required by HMRC, your accountant can act on your behalf, facilitating communication and ensuring that any issues are swiftly resolved.

 

Financial Planning

Beyond the application process, an accountant can offer guidance on how best to utilize the Guardian's Allowance to support the child's needs effectively, integrating this into your broader financial planning.

 

Appeal Assistance

In the event of a dispute or if your application is initially unsuccessful, a tax accountant can help navigate the appeals process, providing expert advice and support to challenge the decision.

 

Continuous Support

Regulations and personal circumstances change; an accountant can provide ongoing support, ensuring you remain compliant and continue to receive the Guardian's Allowance as entitled.

 

Engaging a personal tax accountant can not only streamline the application process for Guardian's Allowance but also ensure you're well-prepared for any tax implications and make the most out of the financial support available. Their expertise and guidance can be invaluable, particularly in navigating the complexities of tax laws and benefit regulations in the UK.


1. Q: Can I claim Guardian's Allowance if I'm not a UK citizen but the child is?

A: Yes, you can claim Guardian's Allowance if you're responsible for a child who meets the eligibility criteria, even if you're not a UK citizen. The key requirement is that the child is eligible and you are their guardian.


2. Q: Is there a deadline for submitting the BG1 form?

A: There's no specific deadline for submitting the BG1 form, but it's advisable to submit it as soon as you become eligible to avoid losing any payments, as the allowance can be backdated only for up to three months.


3. Q: Can I submit the BG1 form online?

A: As of the last update, the BG1 form needs to be completed and then printed out for submission. Check the official HMRC website for any updates on online submission options.


4. Q: What if I make a mistake on the BG1 form?

A: If you make a mistake on the BG1 form, you should contact the Guardian’s Allowance Unit as soon as possible for advice on how to correct it.


5. Q: How do I know if my BG1 form has been received?

A: If you're concerned about your form being received, you can send it via recorded delivery. Otherwise, contact the Guardian’s Allowance Unit to confirm receipt.


6. Q: Can I claim Guardian's Allowance for a stepchild?

A: Yes, you can claim Guardian's Allowance for a stepchild if you meet the eligibility criteria and are the child's guardian.


7. Q: What should I do if my circumstances change after I start receiving the allowance?

A: You must report any changes in circumstances that could affect your entitlement to the Guardian’s Allowance Unit immediately to ensure your payments are correct.


8. Q: Can Guardian's Allowance be paid to two guardians at the same time?

A: No, Guardian's Allowance is typically paid to one guardian. In cases where there might be joint guardianship, you should discuss your situation with the Guardian’s Allowance Unit for guidance.


9. Q: Is Guardian's Allowance affected by my income or savings?

A: No, Guardian's Allowance is not means-tested and is not affected by your income or savings.


10. Q: Can I appeal a decision regarding my Guardian's Allowance claim?

A: Yes, if you're unhappy with a decision made about your claim, you have the right to appeal. Follow the guidance provided in your decision letter on how to proceed.


11. Q: Does receiving Guardian's Allowance affect my eligibility for other benefits?

A: Guardian's Allowance is not counted as income for other means-tested benefits, so it should not affect your eligibility for them.


12. Q: What happens to the Guardian's Allowance if the child moves abroad?

A: If the child you're responsible for moves abroad, it may affect your entitlement to Guardian's Allowance. You should inform the Guardian’s Allowance Unit immediately.


13. Q: Can I claim Guardian's Allowance for a child in foster care?

A: Guardian's Allowance is not typically available for children in foster care unless you have been appointed their legal guardian.


14. Q: How is Guardian's Allowance paid if I'm abroad?

A: If you're abroad, Guardian's Allowance can still be paid into a bank account. You should notify the Guardian’s Allowance Unit of your circumstances for specific advice.


15. Q: What if the child's surviving parent starts contributing financially?

A: If the surviving parent begins to contribute financially to the child's upkeep, you should report this change as it may affect your entitlement to Guardian's Allowance.


16. Q: Can Guardian's Allowance be backdated further than three months?

A: Guardian's Allowance can usually only be backdated up to three months from the date of claim, except in exceptional circumstances. Contact the Guardian’s Allowance Unit for advice.


17. Q: What proof do I need to show I'm the child's guardian?

A: You may need to provide legal documents that prove your guardianship status, such as court orders or guardianship agreements.


18. Q: Does the Guardian's Allowance increase for twins or multiple births?

A: Yes, Guardian's Allowance is paid per child, so you would receive a separate allowance for each child you are guardian to, including twins or multiple births.


19. Q: What happens to my Guardian's Allowance if I get a job or start earning more?

A: Since Guardian's Allowance is not means-tested, starting a job or an increase in earnings does not affect your entitlement.


20. Q: Can I claim Guardian's Allowance if the child goes to university?

A: Guardian's Allowance typically stops when a child finishes full-time education, which is usually considered to be at the end of secondary school, but specific circumstances might vary. Check with the Guardian’s Allowance Unit for guidance related to higher education.

 

 

 

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