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Parents Of Children Under 4, Can Claim Healthy Start Assistance For Food.


Healthy Start is a government scheme offering those parents over 10 weeks pregnant or who have a child under 4 help to buy healthy food and milk.

What is Healthy Start Support?

Healthy Start is a government scheme offering those parents over 10 weeks pregnant or who have a child under 4 help to buy healthy food and milk.


If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. The benefit is added to this card every 4 weeks for you to stock up on essentials.


You can use your card to buy:


  • Plain liquid cow’s milk

  • Fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables

  • Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses

  • Infant formula milk based on cow’s milk

You can also use your card to collect:

  • Healthy Start vitamins – these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years old

Who Can Apply For The Scheme?


If you get Universal credit, you can apply online if:

  • you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child under 4 years old

  • your family’s monthly ‘take-home pay for this period’ is £408 or less from employment

If you get Child Tax Credit, you can apply online if:

  • you have at least one child under 4 years old

  • your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less

To apply, you’ll need your:

  • name

  • address

  • date of birth

  • National Insurance number

  • baby’s due date (if you’re pregnant)

  • benefit award letter if you’re over 18 (you must enter the same information that’s on this letter)

You can apply online HERE



Applying by email or phone


You can apply by email or phone if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child under 4 years old, and get either:

  • Income Support

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

  • Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)

  • Working Tax Credit run-on (paid for 4 weeks if your working hours, or your partner or carer’s, go to less than 16 hours per week)

You can also apply by email or phone if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant and either:

  • under 18 years old and not getting any benefits

  • getting Child Tax Credits and your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less

  • getting income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

You can apply by either:

Phone lines are open 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).


If you’ve previously got Healthy Start vouchers


The scheme is no longer sending out paper vouchers. To get help to buy food and milk, you need to apply for a Healthy Start card.

You can still use your Healthy Start vouchers until their expiry date. You can find the expiry date printed on your vouchers.

If you’re not a British citizen, but your child is

You might be eligible for Healthy Start depending on your immigration status.

You can get Healthy Start if all the following are true:

  • You have at least 1 British child under 4 years old – check if your child is automatically a British citizen (opens in a new tab). If you’re not sure

  • your family earns £408 or less per month after tax

  • You cannot claim ‘public funds’ (opens in a new tab) (for example, benefits) – either because of your immigration status or because you do not have an immigration status.

Your biometric residence permit (BRP) or your online immigration status will say if you cannot claim public funds. You might also have a letter from the Home Office about it.

To apply for Healthy Start, ask for an application form via email. Only use this email address if you think you cannot claim public funds because of your immigration status - Healthystartclaim@dhsc.gov.uk.




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