A family allowance is a payment made by a government to parents with young children to help cover expenses. Typically the allowance is given on a monthly basis and is designed to help low-income families cope with the cost of raising a family, according to Historica Canada.
A family allowance is commonly used in commonwealth countries, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. The United States does not provide family allowances, but it does have a child tax credit system that helps low-income families. It is considered a child benefit and is available for certain families that meet specific criteria, according to Anglo Info Ltd.