Claiming benefits while fostering

Being paid for fostering doesn’t affect the amount of benefit you get if the payments come from either:

  • a local council
  • a voluntary organisation
  • a private organisation on behalf of the local council

Your benefits may be affected if the payments come from somewhere else. Speak to an adviser from the organisation that pays your benefit to find out more.

Benefits that may be affected

Jobseeker’s Allowance

You must be available and actively looking for work (and meet the other criteria) to get Jobseeker’s Allowance.

You would usually have to work for at least 40 hours a week. However, you can put restrictions on when you’re available, as long as:

  • you’re available to work for as many hours a week as your caring responsibilities allow (must be at least 16)
  • you have reasonable prospects of securing employment

The restrictions can always be changed - speak to your adviser.

You must be available for 40 hours a week if you’re waiting for a foster placement and have no children of your own.

Income support

You may be able to claim Income Support, but you’ll have to attend work-focused interviews every 6 months or 3 years depending on your situation (for example if you have your own children).

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance, but you may have to attend work-focused interviews depending on your circumstances (for example if you’re a lone parent).

More information

Check a benefits calculator to see what benefits you’re eligible for.