Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

How to apply

Applying online

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)

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 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays). Find out about call charges (opens in a new tab).

If you’ve previously got Healthy Start vouchers

We are no longer sending 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:

Your biometric residence permit (BRP) or your online immigration status (opens in a new tab) 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

A pharmacist takes an item off a shelf

Free Healthy Start vitamins

You can get free vitamins for you and your child with your Healthy Start card

A child with knife and fork in hand about to eat a plate of vegetables

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions that people may have about the Healthy Start scheme

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