You're viewing the new MBC Website. Find out more information about our new website.

Life Changes

Losing a job

For help finding work visit our Help Finding Work page.

Use GOV.UK's Benefits Calculator to find out if you would be better or worse off when starting a new job.

If you are claiming benefits, some of them will stop, some may continue for a while, and you may start to be entitled to others. For more information visit GOV.UK website.

Starting a family

You will need to change your budget when you adopt, have a baby or children join your household with a new partner. If you already claim benefits you must tell us and the Jobcentre when someone joins your family.

When you are expecting a new arrival
If you are working you are entitled to paid time off for ante-natal appointments. To find out about adoption and maternity pay visit the GOV.UK website.
When you are pregnant, and for one year after the birth, you may be able to get free prescriptions and NHS dental care. For more information visit the Money Advice Service website.

When the baby arrives

Once your baby arrives you may find you’re earning less and need to control your spending. If you have a partner talk with them and plan your budget together.

  • Talk openly about it and there won't be any surprises
  • Agree some ground rules. For example you could agree not to buy anything that costs more than £50 without talking about it first
  • Check your bank statements and talk about money each month. If you notice any problems tackle them early

For more information visit the Money Advice Service website or use their Baby Costs Calculator.


Totcycle provides a monthly baby and toddler goods exchange in Christchurch, Park Wood. To find out more email or call 07851 196770.

Child Care

Child care arrangements are important and may need to be planned a long time in advance. Options include nurserys, childminders, taking turns with other parents and help from friends and family. Costs vary so shop around and then visit the places before you buy. The Money Advice Service gives some indication on the average costs to help you plan.


Child Benefit

You can claim Child Benefit if you are responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they're in approved education and/or training). There are two rates:hello

Who Amount Per Week
Eldest or only child £20.50
Additional children £13.55

Some higher income households may not be eligible but it might be worth applying anyway to find out, or if your circumstances change. For more information visit the GOV.UK website.

Benefits for parents

You may be entitled to claim some benefits, even if you or your partner work. To find out whether you can claim any benefits visit the GOV.UK website.

Guardians Allowance

If you are bringing up a child whose parents have died, or if there is one surviving parent, you may be eligible for Guardians Allowance. The rate is currently £16.35 and you'd get it in addition to Child Benefit tax free.

Sure Start Maternity Grant

You could get a one-off payment of £500 to help towards the costs of having a baby. You may even be able to claim if you are adopting a baby who is less than 1 year old on the date you claim. For more informations visit the GOV.UK website.

Children’s Centres

Children’s Centres are local community centres that support babies, children and their families. For more information and to find out where your nearest Children's Centre is visit Kent County Council's website.

Universal Credit/Welfare Reform

Find out about the governments welfare reform programme and what it may mean for your universal credit Benefit Changes.

Healthy Start

Healthy Start is a government scheme that helps people on benefits. If you're pregnant or have a child under 4 you'll be given a weekly voucher that can be used to buy vegetables, fruit and milk. To find out more visit the Healthy Start website or call 0345 607 6823.


People working in most jobs don't have to retire at a set age and can continue working if they want to. If you're planning to retire soon you might want to:

  • Contact all of your pension companies to find out what your final pension will be and how it will be paid to you. If you haven’t heard from one or more of them for a while, visit the Pension Tracing Service website
  • Get independent financial advice to understand the options for living on your pension or investing any lump sums
  • Tell the tax office as you may get a new tax code
  • If you continue to work past state retirement age, tell your employer as you won't need to pay National Insurance any more

State Pensions and benefits

Your State Pension won’t be paid to you automatically. First you must claim it.

You may also be entitled to other benefits like Pension Credit.

The Over 80 Pension is a State Pension for people aged 80 or older who:

  • Have less than £67.80 per week in their basic State Pension or
  • Have no basic State Pension

You may be entitled to other benefits including Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support among others. For more information visit our Benefits Pages.

Age UK Maidstone

They are a local charity dedicated to people aged 55 and over. They are there to help you live positively as an elder person in the community. They run free computer classes, wheelchair hire, hearing clinics and have a trusted traders list. There is also a range of insurance products, which includes free information and benefits advice.

The office is at:

7 Mill Street,
ME15 6XW

It is open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 4pm and on Fridays from 10am to 2pm. Their phone number is 01622 753618


Learning how to deal with your money after a death, from paying for the funeral, to looking after the paperwork and household bills, is an extra burden.

If you have lost your husband, wife, or civil partner, you may be able to apply for some financial help.

The Citizens Advice Bureau has information on Funeral Payments which may help people on a low income with the essential costs of a funeral.

If you are under state pension age, you can apply for a one off tax free Bereavement Payment of £2,000.

If you were over 45 but under state pension age when your spouse or civil partner died, you can apply for a Bereavement Allowance for up to 52 weeks from the date they died.

If you are a parent under state pension age and already receiving Child Benefit for at least one child when your spouse or civil partner died, you may also be able to apply for Widowed Parent’s Allowance.

If you claim benefits make sure that you tell us and the Jobcentre about your change in circumstances. If you already receive your state pension you will also need to contact The Pension Service.

If you are on a low income, check that you are getting everything that you are entitled to using the Benefits Calculator on the GOV.UK website.

Our A-Z

If you cannot find what you are looking for in our search facility, you can use our A-Z index to find the service you require.