Homeschooling and benefit claims | Child Benefit, Tax Credit, grants explained
One of the questions that I hear often is “will homeschooling affect my benefit claims? “
So, I’ve compiled the important bits to help you to figure this complicated system out – bare with me as it may surprise you!
2 key points about homeschooling and benefits:
- Choosing to homeschool your children shouldn’t change your benefits as long as nothing else changes.
- Agency staff aren’t usually trained to deal with home education so it may be wise not to mention it unless you need to (you are not required to notify the child benefit office that you home educate if your child is under 16 years of age.)
Can I claim Child Benefit while home schooling?
Child benefit is payable for all children, including those who are home educated in England and Wales, until they are no longer compulsory school age – on the 31st August following the child’s 16th birthday.
If your child is continuing home education after the age of 16 and was home educated before the age of 16, then provided the home education is still considered full-time, you are entitled to continue to receive Child Benefit.
The Child Benefit Office view full time as more than an average of 12 hours a week of supervised study or course-related work experience.
Provision doesn’t have to include studying for a formal non advanced course like GCSEs and it doesn’t have to include taking any exams but must constitute a suitable education.
However, if either you or your partner has an individual income of £60,000 or over, you’ll be charged the same amount as you make through Child Benefit payments and you’ll end up with no extra money from Child Benefit.
Taken from the government website:
Education must be full-time (more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience) and can include:
- A levels or similar, for example Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
- T levels
- Scottish Highers
- NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
- home education – if it started before your child turned 16 or after 16 if they have special needs
- traineeships in England.”
Courses are not approved if paid for by an employer or ‘advanced’, for example a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.
You can inform the Child Benefit Office if your child is:
Can I claim Universal Credit if I homeschool my child
If your circumstances remain the same then home education shouldn’t affect your Universal Credit claim.
However if your child is over 3 you will still be expected to seek work if you are on universal credit, unless you fall into an exclusion band ( like medical reasons, or you have a partner who works). Sadly this can make it difficult for single parents as you would still be expected to take a suitable job when it arises.
Remember, suitable for you, may mean working 16 hours during evenings and weekends so you shouldn’t have to stophomeschooling to take on a job that is inflexible.
Can I claim housing benefit while homeschooling?
Like with most benefits, homeschooling will not directly affect your housing benefit.
Do you get paid to homeschool your child?
No, home education is your choice and as such it’s self-funded. It’s worth considering the true cost of sending kids to public school though and the fact that it is possible to home educate on a small budget.
Do you get funding for home schooling UK?
Unfortunately, although homeschooling saves the government money every year (£6,970 per pupil actually!) there is little to no help given to single parents or families who choose to home educate.
Some Local Authorities may have small grants available but you would need to contact your local council for the most up-to-date information or join a local Facebook group to find out from other parents.
Are there any grants available to homeschoolers?
Not exactly a grant for homeschoolers but it’s worth mentioning that parents can submit a claim for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for a child who:
- is under 16
- has difficulties walking or needs much more looking after than a child of the same age who does not have a disability
I know of families who have successfully claimed funding for a neurodiverse child (diagnosed or undiagnosed) because they provided evidence that their child’s needs were greater than that of a neurotypical child.
I can not take responsibility for the accuracy of this information as benefit changes happen quickly so please seek professional advice the below information if in doubt.
I hope you found this post about homeschooling and how it affects benefits like Universal Credit and Child Benefit.