If you’re pregnant or have children under the age of 4 you can get payments every 4 weeks
to spend on:
• cow’s milk
• fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables
• infant formula milk
• fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
You can also get free Healthy Start vitamins.
Your card will be topped up every 4 weeks with your benefit.
You can shop for healthy food and milk in most stores that sells the eligible food and milk and accepts Mastercard payments.
You’ll get £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’ll qualify for the Healthy Start scheme if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or you have at least one child that’s under 4.
In addition, you must be receiving any of the following:
• Child Tax Credit (only if your family’s annual income is £16,190 or less)
• Income Support
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
• Universal Credit (only if your family’s take home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)
You will also be eligible for Healthy Start if:
• you’re under 18 and pregnant, even if you are not claiming any benefits
• you claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant
• you or your partner get Working Tax Credit run-on only. (Working Tax Credit run-on is the Working Tax Credit you receive in the 4 weeks immediately after you have stopped working for 16 hours or more per week)
Make an application
To apply visit: How to apply – Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)
For more information please see the leaflet, or call 0300 330 7010.
Related information: Start for Life (www.nhs.uk)
Last Updated 06/12/2022