Friday, 22 July 2011

Tax Credit Deadline – don’t save all your changes until 31st July!

As the Tax Credit Renewal deadline of 31st July fast approaches, I’d like to
re-iterate the importance of telling the Tax Credit office of changes to your circumstances at the time that they actually happen. 
Please don’t save them all up until the renewal pack falls on your door mat!

If you have any kind of change in your personal life, work/self employment or childcare please pick up the phone and call the Tax Credit office as soon as you possibly can. 
Leaving important changes to information until July could mean you are possibly being overpaid (a real nightmare) or that you are losing out on additional payments that you could be receiving at a time you need them most.

If you have not yet sent back your renewal form or given them a call please do so now. 

Remember: if you do not contact them your payments will STOP!

Call the Tax Credit Helpline NOW on:   0845 300 3900

Please also watch this great “Tell ‘Em” video from Martin Lewis too:

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Keeping up entitlement to your State Pension - National Insurance Credits for Parents

As a new mum, the last thing you are probably thinking about is your State Pension – that time seems such a very long way off!   But here’s something you probably weren’t aware of that may just be of interest.

The National Insurance (NI) you pay via your employer or as self employed, (among many other things) contributes to your entitlement to a State Pension when you retire. 
During your maternity leave, if you decide to stay at home and not go back to work, or if you earn below the threshold for paying NI when you go back to work, you will not be making any NI contributions.  Potentially you could have years of no contributions which would have a negative effect on the money you would be entitled to in your old age. 

Fear not!  There is a little known system in place to fill in the gaps where you may not be paying National Insurance. 
Known as “Credits for Parents” (formally “Home Responsibilities Protection”), the government ensures that NI contributions are credited to you account so that you hold your entitlement to a State Pension.

Better still, you don’t have to do a thing!  You are automatically enrolled onto the system when you start receiving Child Benefit.

For more information visit:

Or phone:

Pension Service Helpline on 0845 606 0265

This week’s post was suggested by Emma Rosser AKA
Thank you, Emma!


If you have a money related subect you'd like me to cover, please leave a comment.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Child Benefit

You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you have children under 16 (or under 20 if in certain types of education or training), but you do have to apply for it.

You should receive an application in the useful Bounty Pack you are given in hospital when your baby is born (or your midwife will pass you one). 
You can also print off a form here:

Applying is pretty straight forward.  You will need to send the original birth certificate with the application form so make sure you register your baby first.

Make sure the form is one of the first things you complete in those first few weeks of parenthood.  If you leave it, you may be missing out on valuable pennies as they will only back date payments for 3 months.

Once it’s completed, send your form and baby’s birth certificate to:

Child Benefit Office (Washington)
NEA 10463
PO Box 133
NE38 7BR

HELPLINE NUMBER:  08453 021 444

The current weekly rates for Child Benefit are:

£20.30 for your first/oldest child


£13.40 for other children

It is paid  until the child is either 16 or 20 if he/she is in full time education (up to A Level or equivalent or certain training courses).
The money is usually paid directly into the mother’s bank account on a monthly basis.