Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

Applying for Healthy Start

How can I apply?

If you’re receiving a qualifying benefit and are pregnant or have parental responsibility for at least one child under the age of 4, you can apply online now for the NHS Healthy Start card (opens in a new tab).

How much will I get for my children?

  • £4.25 each week of your pregnancy (from the 10th week of your pregnancy)
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old
  • £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old

Your money will stop after your child’s 4th birthday, or if you no longer receive benefits.

You can also get free Healthy Start vitamins.

I’m under 18 and not on benefits. Do I qualify?

If you’re under 18 and more than 10 weeks pregnant, you qualify for Healthy Start until your baby is born. You do not need to receive any of the qualifying benefits or be getting tax credits. To apply, you need to call us on 0300 330 7010 and provide:

  • your baby’s due date
  • a copy of your birth certificate
  • your NHS number
  • your National Insurance number

Find out about call charges (opens in a new tab).

After your baby is born, you will only continue to qualify for Healthy Start if you get the qualifying benefits or tax credits. To make sure you continue to receive Healthy Start vouchers once your baby is born, you should:

  • call us on 0300 330 7010
  • apply for Child Tax Credits as soon as you can
  • inform Universal Credit by updating your online account
  • reapply online and make a new claim

If you do not do this, your payment will stop 4 weeks after your baby’s due date.

I get Working Tax Credit. Do I qualify?

If you, your partner, or your carer get Working Tax Credit (WTC), you do not qualify for Healthy Start unless you’re under 18 and pregnant or you’re only getting the WTC 4 week run-on. WTC run-on is what you receive in the 4 weeks immediately after you have stopped working for 16 hours or more per week. 

I’m unable to register my child’s birth, will I still get my payment?

You should speak to HMRC or DWP to ensure your child is included on your benefit claim so that your payment can be issued.

If you’re on Universal Credit you also need to phone us on 0300 330 7010 and tell us your baby’s name and date of birth. Without this, your payments may stop and you will need to reapply.

Find out about call charges (opens in a new tab).