Child Benefit is a tax-free payment that is paid to most people with children. You are eligible if your child is under 16, or a young person under 20 if they are still in full-time education up to A Level equivalent or on certain approved training courses.

You are eligible for Child Benefit if your child is under 16, or a young person under 20 if they are still in full-time education up to A Level equivalent or on certain approved training courses. You will receive a weekly amount for your eldest child and lesser weekly amount for each of your other children.

You can find full details on what you will get, the eligibility criteria and how to claim at this link.

If you are not sure whether you qualify, call the Child Benefit hotline on 0300 200 3100 (8am to 8pm).

You should claim Child benefit as soon as your child is born or if a child comes to live with you. 

If you are currently not working, you should register for child benefit now to avoid losing out on ‘pension credits’ and subsequent loss of of state pension. New parents who realise that they haven’t registered can only get the credits backdated for three months

How to Claim Child Benefit

Anyone who is bringing up a child can claim. But you’ll need the original (and not a copy) of the child’s birth certificate - or the birth certificate you get after adoption or an adoption certificate.

You cannot claim Child Benefit over the phone or on-line. The only way to claim Child Benefit is to fill in a Child Benefit claim form and send it to the Child Benefit Office along with your child's birth or adoption certificate.

You can download full instructions of how to claim and the Child Benefit claim form at this link.

Fill in the answers to the questions on this form on your computer and then print off the completed claim and post it to the address stated.

High Income Child Benefit Charge

If you and/or your partner have individual income of more than £50,000 then your child benefit payment will be subjrct to the high income child benefit charge (HICBC).

The Tax Charge will be only be applied to the partner with the highest income.

If you or your partner are affected you have two choices:

  • To keep receiving Child Benefit and pay the tax charge through Self Assessment, or
  • Elect to stop receiving Child Benefit and not pay the new charge.

For more details of how much you will pay and what your options are, go here.

A Child Benefit Tax Calculator is available at GOV.UK.

Change of Circumstances

Any changes to your family circumstances could affect the amount of your Child Benefit payment and must be reported to the Child Benefit Office to avoid any under/overpayemnt.

Benefit Cap

Child Benefit counts towards the Benefit Cap. If you’re affected, your Housing Benefit will go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level.

For details on the Benefit Cap follow this link.

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