Category: Government

How to claim Healthy Start vouchers

The application

In order to claim Healthy Start vouchers you will need to fill out part A of the application form in black ink and capitals. You then take the form to either your midwife, health visitor or registered doctor or nurse for them to sign for free.

They should then sign part B, but it is your responsibility to ensure the health professional has signed and dated it properly as if it hasn’t been signed by an approved health professional your application will not be accepted. Do not miss this step!

If you are pregnant they will need to certify you are pregnant or if you have a child you should send the application alongside your child’s birth certificate. Don’t forget to ask your healthcare professional about claiming Healthy Start vitamins, too.

Finally, when you have ensured the information is correct and have provided the supporting documents (outlined below), you can send the form to the following address:

Freepost RRTR-SYAE-JKCR

Healthy Start Issuing Unit

PO Box 1067

Warrington

WA55 1EG

There will be a freepost envelope on the back of the application leaflet if you have filled in a physical copy, otherwise if you have printed the form online you can write the address on the envelope. This is also free so you needn’t buy a stamp.

How to get the application

You can get an application leaflet either by using the Healthy Start contact number and asking a member of the staff to send you one for free by post, or filling in the online form and printing it off to check and sign, or by asking your health visitor or midwife. You can email the blank PDF form of the application to yourself or download it directly from the website, but bear in mind you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file and print it off.

As well as the signature from a health professional and the child’s birth certificate, you will also need to provide evidence of your income and savings, the benefits you already receive and your identity in order to claim the Healthy Start food vouchers and vitamins. They may also ask for your National Insurance number.

The claim starts once the Healthy Start application is received, and they cannot be backdated so ensure you send the form as early as possible to avoid disappointment. As with any other benefit or allowance you should inform the company as soon as your circumstances change. The Healthy Start Food Vouchers service will not continue for you if the qualifying prerequisites are not met.

Do I qualify for Healthy Start vouchers?

Firstly, you must either be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have the minimum of one child under the age of four to qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.

You must also be currently receiving one of the following benefits or tax credits, unless you are pregnant and under the age of 18:

· Income-based JSA (Jobseeker’s Allowance)

· Child Tax Credit, if your family’s income is £16,190 per year or less in the 2015/2016 tax year

· Working Tax Credit, if your family is receiving the four-week ‘run-on’ payment

· Income related ESA (Employment and Support Allowance)

· Income support

You do not need to be claiming any of the above to get Healthy Start vouchers if you are pregnant and under 18.

The Working Tax Credit run-on is the money you receive for four immediate weeks after you stop working and therefore no longer qualify for Working Tax Credit. This must be for 16 hours for single adults and 24 hours per week for couples. If you are receiving the normal Working Tax Credit amount you won’t be able to get Healthy Start food vouchers.

If you are not receiving any of the benefits yourself but you live with your partner who is, or you are the dependent child of someone who is, you can still qualify for Healthy Start vouchers.

Remember, as long you meet one of the above conditions you can receive the vouchers and vitamins for children up to age four.

Universal Credit changes

The NHS website say the following about any changes in the future:

“We know that the benefits system is changing and that Universal Credit is being expanded to families. This means that, due to a change in circumstances, you may be assessed for entitlement to Universal Credit instead of the benefits you or your partner were claiming previously. Alternatively you may be new to the benefits system and may be assessed for entitlement to Universal Credit from the start of your claim. Whatever your circumstances, if you are claiming Universal Credit and are pregnant, or have a child under four years old, make sure you call the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823 or email on helpdesk@tiu.org.uk for information about any discretionary support that may be available.”

What are Healthy Start vitamins?

Healthy Start vitamins are the government’s way to ensure some pregnant women, new mums and small children are getting the essential nutrients they require which their bodies may lack in.

Despite having a healthy and balanced diet, pregnant women often lack in the folic acid and vitamin D that is vital for them and the baby. Young children may also require supplements of vitamin A and D even if they are eating well, so the supplements contain the specific vitamins needed to ensure optimum health.

UK health departments have designed Healthy Start vitamins to suit everyone, so they are suitable for both vegetarian (Vegetarian Society approved) and halal diets and are suitable for those suffering from allergies involving milk, soya, egg, gluten and peanuts.

How to get the vitamins

Healthy Start vitamins are sent every eight weeks to pregnant women, babies from six months to four years old and women with a baby under one – if they qualify for the Healthy Start scheme. If you are eligible you will receive green Healthy Start vitamin coupons alongside your Healthy Start food vouchers.

NHS provide a search tool to locate a Healthy Start vitamins service which you can use here. You are also able to use the Healthy Start contact number to find local distribution points to swap your coupons but your midwife or health visitor should also be able to direct you, too. The availability of free Health Start vitamins is controlled by your health board, health trust or primary care trust.

What do the vitamins contain?


Women’s vitamins contain the following:

· Folic acid

· Vitamin C

· Vitamin D

The supplements will help the mother to maintain healthy tissue and help her body to absorb calcium, which in turn supports the baby’s bones, allows them to develop properly and reduces the chance of it having spina bifida.

Children’s vitamin drops contain:

· Vitamin A

· Vitamin C

· Vitamin D

These vitamins ensure the baby’s bones and teeth develop properly and strongly, as well as maintaining healthy tissue and improving healthy skin, growth and vision in dim light.

When to take the vitamins

For women – during pregnancy and up to one year after giving birth
For children – babies under six months old who are breastfed may benefit; ask your midwife or health visitor about this. Or, babies above six months who have less than 500ml of infant formula per day will get free vitamin drops until they are four.

Search for house prices and property information with the Land Registry

The Land Registry oversee the ownership of property and land in the United Kingdom. As the government body in charge of recording the important information about property ownership, the Land Registry allow people to view their archived information on house prices, as well as material on properties, such as land boundaries, flooding risk and the registered title at a property.

This information is useful for a number of reasons, including reviewing the average price of property in a particular area you’d like to move to, preparing for potential flooding issues and proving a boundary issue in a dispute with a neighbour.

Find the price of a house on the Land Registry

The Land Registry keep extensive information on the cost of housing in England and Wales. Information about housing in Scotland can be found through Registers of Scotland and information about housing in Northern Ireland can be found with the Land and Property Services.

The Land Registry’s house price archives date back to 1995. Users can find the average house price for a particular area based on date, type of property (terraced, semi-detached, detached, flat or maisonette) and region, county or local authority.

To search the archive, use the Land Registry’s online search tool. The tool provides a variety of graphs and data for users to review. You can also enter two different areas in order to compare the difference in property prices over the selected period of time.

For further, more detailed information on using the search tool, please review the Land Registry’s YouTube tutorial, found on the search tool’s page.

Find property information with the Land Registry

The Land Registry keep information about title register, title plan and flooding risk for properties and land sold in the United Kingdom, dating back to 1993. You can search the Land Registry by heading online and logging into the Land Registry website. From here, you can search for a property and, for a fee, download a specific document.

The title register costs £3, the title plan costs £3 and a flood risk document costs £10.80, including VAT. More information about searching for housing information and the payment process can be attained by calling our Prove I Called Land Registry Contact Number.

Information about property boundaries with the Land Registry

Properties that are registered with the Land Registry receive a title plan, detailing the boundaries of the property. This information is usually an estimate, but will be exact if a previous owner of the property figured out the exact property boundaries.

To receive this information, you can contact the Land Registry with the Prove I Called Land Registry Contact Number. They govern the ownership of property in England and Wales.

Registers of Scotland do the same for Scotland and Land and Property Services oversee Northern Ireland’s property ownership.

Figuring out features and boundary agreements for the Land Registry

If you are aiming to figure out your exact property boundaries, you can do so by submitting a boundary agreement to the Land Registry. The first step of the process is examining any pre-existing boundary agreements on either your property or any neighbouring properties.

This information can be found by searching for and examining the property deeds. If none exist, you can create a new boundary agreement. These must be agreed upon by both neighbours.

Boundary features and dividing structures, such as a wall, fence or hedge. They split the property plot between two neighbours, though there is no governing rule over who owns a boundary feature. The ownership of a boundary feature is decided through a boundary agreement.

How to work out your property boundary

In order to work out the exact boundaries of your property, you should first review the numerous property documents available through the Land Registry. The main document to check is the title plan, please contact the Land Registry for more information on receiving and checking the housing documentation before working out your property boundary.

The boundaries can be drawn up based on the title plan of your and your neighbours’ properties, it can also be drawn up by a land surveyor, then passed on to the Land Registry with agreement from neighbours and a fee of £90.

Agreements and arguments with neighbours and the Land Registry

Before a property boundary is officially accepted by the Land Registry, your neighbours must agree to the stated boundaries. This can be proved by a written agreement posted to the Land Registry.

If no written agreement is included in your boundary application, the Land Registry will contact your neighbours. If there is an issue, your neighbours will be referred to a First Tier Tribunal. If this is the case, you may be required to attend a tribunal.

Land Registry title deeds and joint property ownership

For pairs of people that share the purchase of a property, the Land Registry allow you to register as joint owners. There are two different types of joint property ownership.

You can register as joint tenants or as tenants in common. It is important to select the correct type of joint ownership when reporting it to the Land Registry as you may be incorrectly restricted as to what you can do with the property should something happen to your fellow property owner.

Getting a copy of your property deed from the Land Registry

After registering your property with the Land Registry, you may want to receive the title deeds that offer recent and historic information on the ownership of the property. Title deeds can also provide information on the property boundaries, as agreed by previous tenants.

To get a copy of your title deeds, you can download the title register. Find your property’s title number and submit a deeds request form to the Land Registry, along with the correct fee. Your deeds may consist of multiple documents. Each document will cost you £7 each. If you cannot find the property title number on the title register, the property is not registered with the Land Registry.

The two different types of joint property ownership

There are two different options available to people hoping to register as joint owners of a property in England or Wales.

Joint tenants

Joint tenants, otherwise known as beneficial joint tenants, have the same rights over a property. Following the death of one owner, it will automatically pass onto the other. Joint tenants cannot pass on the ownership of the property through their will.

Tenants in common

Tenants in common are able to purchase different amounts of the property, leading to a difference in shares. The property will not automatically be passed onto the other owner following a death and it can be passed on in a will.

Changing your joint ownership registration with the Land Registry

Selecting joint tenancy or tenants in common isn’t a permanent decision. It can be altered. If you split from a partner or want to leave your share or a property to someone other than your joint tenant, you can change to tenants in common.

Similarly, if you want to have an equal share in your owned property, you can change to be joint tenants. You can also change to joint ownership from a single ownership deal, in a move called transferring ownership. There is no fee to change your type of ownership.

Land Registry property ownership forms and fees

The Land Registry is a government department, though it does not receive any government funding. Instead, it is expected to cover its own expenditure. The Land Registry is funded by a series of fees and registration costs that more cover the costs of overseeing the ownership of property in England and Wales.

When registering your property ownership or searching for a specific property deeds or document, you will need to pay an administration fee. Registration also requires the submission of the correct form for your area of application.

Land Registry registration forms and documents

There are a large number of different forms that must be submitted to the Land Registry, depending on your particular application. These various forms can be downloaded from the Land Registry website, with forms for Registration, Land Charges and Agricultural Credits.

All land registration forms are available in English and Welsh. It is important that you select the correct form when applying as any incorrect forms will be refused.

To apply for First Registration, you’ll need to provide original supporting documents. Every other application should be sent as a certified copy, rather than an original. The Land Registry destroy documents once they have scanned the paper onto a computer. If you send your application through e-DRS, the Land Registry will only accept a certified copy.

Registration fees and making a payment to the Land Registry

As previously stated, the Land Registry require a fee, dependent on which service you are using or what you applying for. The particular fee can be found on the Land Registry website by using the fee calculator tool.

You can pay any necessary fees by either direct debit account or by cheque or postal order, payable to Land Registry. More information can be received by calling the Prove I Called Land Registry Contact Number.

The Land Registry address for applications

Citizen Centre

PO Box 6350

Coventry

CV3 9LP

Land Charges, bankruptcy, insolvency, Agricultural Credits or business e-services applications must be sent to another address, more information can be found here.

All you need to know about the benefit cap

If you are an adult aged between 16 and 64 there is a set limit on how much benefit  (including Child Tax Credit) you can claim, also known as 'the benefit cap'. Though some individual benefits are not affected, the total amount of benefit you are entitled to may vary.

The cap applies to the total amount you receive from the following list of benefits and allowances, provided by the GOV.uk website:

· Bereavement Allowance

· Carer’s Allowance

· Child Benefit

· Child Tax Credit

· Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the support component)

· Guardian’s Allowance

· Housing Benefit

· Incapacity Benefit

· Income Support

· Jobseeker’s Allowance

· Maternity Allowance

· Severe Disablement Allowance

· Universal Credit

· Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension you started getting before 9 April 2001)

The level of the cap is:

· For couples with or without children at home - £500

· For single parents whose children are at home - £500

· For single adults who don’t have children or children at home - £350

So in essence, some benefits will decrease to ensure your total amount does not exceed the benefit cap level. The fastest and most efficient way to work out if the cap affects you is to use the calculator on the GOV.uk website.

Who isn't affected?

You will not have your benefits affected by the cap if anyone in your household is eligible for Working Tax Credit or receives one of the following:

· Disability Living Allowance

· Personal Independence Payment

· Attendance Allowance

· Industrial Injuries Benefits and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

· Employment and Support Allowance, if you get the support component

· War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

· War pensions

· Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

· Armed Forces Independence Payment

· If you’re seeing a Jobcentre Plus adviser, Work Programme or Work Choice provider, they’ll continue to help you look for work and get skills you may need for a job.

Other calculators

Replacing the Benefits Adviser service, there are two independent, free and anonymous ways to calculate your benefit entitlements, find out how your benefits will be affected if you begin work and information on how to claim.

Turn2us and entitledto both give information on tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and income-related benefits and how you will be affected if you start work. Entitledto also helps with contribution-based benefits.

You need to be over 18 to use the calculators, and results will not be accurate if you are a student, on strike, living outside the UK, a prisoner, living permanently in a residential care or nursing home or are not a British or Irish citizen.

To use the calculators you will need information about you and your partner’s income, existing benefits and pensions of you and anyone else living in your household, as well as your council tax bill and any other outgoings, such as mortgage and childcare payments. The amount of savings you have will also be taken into account.

A guide to Child Tax Credit payments

As a basic amount, also known as the ‘family element,’ you should be eligible for £545 of Child Tax Credits per year, though you may be able to get extra elements too.

Payment depends on your personal circumstances as well as your income. We’ve outlined the additional elements and rates for the 2015/2016 tax year for you below:

· For each child – up to £2780 per year

· For each disabled child – up to £3,140 on top of the child element

· For each severely disabled child – up to £1,275 on top of both of the above

How am I paid?

As with other benefits, pensions and allowances provided by either government bodies – HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions – the money is paid into the account or building society of the person responsible for the primary care of the child.

Unless you have change in circumstance (of which you must report immediately to the tax credit office), you will be paid either every week or every four weeks from the date of your initial claim until the end of the tax year – 5th April. A change in circumstance includes instances such as the child leaving home, a change in income or the death of you partner – in which case your tax credit can increase or decrease.

The fastest and most efficient way to check out the total amount payable to you as a parent or carer is to use the tax credit online calculator, provided by GOV.uk. There you will be able to check if your income exceeds the threshold to claim tax credits.

As the benefit is dependent on an individual’s circumstance there is no set income limit. If you pay for childcare or you or your partner is disabled, the rate of income that is accepted will be higher than the average £26,100 income for a family with one child.

For more information about the limit of benefit cap applicable to most people aged 16 to 64, ProveICalled have created a handy guide.

How to claim Child Tax Credit and Child Benefits

You are able to order the form needed to claim Child Tax Credit by either using the GOV.uk online tool or by calling the Tax Credit Office though bear in mind the form may take up to two weeks to arrive. However, if you are already claiming any form of tax credits you do not need to complete the form as a member of staff on the contact number should be able to update your claim.

The need to know

· You can only claim Child Tax Credit in one household

· The process of a new claim can take up to five weeks

· You must renew the claim annually

· You can claim at any point in the year

· You are able to apply for Child and Working Tax Credits on the same form

So it goes without saying that you should keep records from the past three years that concern the care of the child and their education, as well as your income, benefits, other tax credits, bills and payslips.

Child Benefits

As soon as a child is born or starts living with you, you are able to claim Child Benefit. However, this type of benefit takes up to 12 weeks if it’s a new claim. No longer than those 12 weeks (or three months) can be backdated so it’s crucial you claim as soon as possible.

To claim, you must complete a Child Benefit claim form (CH2) and send it to the Child Benefit Office address below, alongside the child’s original birth of adoption certificate. If you are not in possession of either certification you can send the form alone and send the supporting certificate when you have it – it’s also possible to order a new certificate if you have lost the original. You do not need either certificate if you are repeating a claim you have already made in the past for the same child.

Send your forms to:

Child Benefit Office (GB)

Washington

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE88 1ZD