Child Benefit documents

How to Claim Child Benefit

How to Claim Child Benefit

Read this helpful guide if you have any confusion over claiming Child Benefit. You can call the Child Benefit Office on 0844 248 2560 if you need more support with your Child Benefit claim.

What is Child Benefit?

This benefit is financial support for people who care for one or more children under 16 years old. You should claim Child Benefit as soon as possible when a child is born or begins to live with you. For an only child or the oldest child, the Child Benefit rate is £20.70 per week. After this, the rate for additional children is £13.70 a week per child. If you or your partner has an annual income of over £50,000, you will have to pay a tax charge. You can opt out of getting Child Benefit to avoid this. Even if you decide not to receive payments, you should still submit the claim form. This helps you to get National Insurance credits, which go towards your State Pension. It ensures that your child gets a National Insurance number when they turn 16, so they don’t have to apply for one.

How to Claim Child Benefit for a Newborn

You must register the birth of your child at the hospital before you leave. If this is not possible at the hospital, you can go to your local register office. You cannot claim Child Benefit until the child has a birth certificate or an adoption certificate. To make a claim, print and fill in the form and then send it in the post with the certificate. The address for Child Benefit claims is Child Benefit Office, Washington, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE88 1ZD. Send the claim form even if you don’t have the certificate yet, as you can send it later. If you make a claim for a child you previously received Child Benefit for, you don’t need to provide the certificate again. If you accept responsibility for or adopt an older child, you will still need either their original birth or adoption certificate or a copy.

How many children can you claim Child Benefit for?

There is no limit on the number of children you can claim Child Benefit for. However, only one person can claim Child Benefit for each child. If two people care for the same child, they must decide which one of them makes the claim. HMRC will make the decision for them if they cannot agree. To claim Child Benefit for a child, you must be responsible for them and nobody else can be claiming for them. You might be able to claim if you look after a friend’s or relative’s child. You are responsible if the child either lives with you or you contribute financially towards their care. Contributions such as money, clothes, presents, and food should at least equal the amount of Child Benefit. If your child has a baby of their own, you can claim Child Benefit for both of them.

Child Benefit Claim: How long does it take?

It is advisable to submit your claim for Child Benefit as quickly as possible because it can take a while to process. Child Benefit claims can take up to 12 weeks, or even longer if you are new to the UK. However, you can backdate the claim for up to 3 months. You will then receive Child Benefit to cover this period, as long as you were eligible. The Child Benefit Office will inform you if and when you will start receiving Child Benefit payments. It is usually paid every 4 weeks, either on a Monday or on a Tuesday. The money will only go to one account, but it can be paid into any type of account. The only exclusion in a Nationwide cashbuilder account in a different person’s name. You could get Child Benefit weekly if you are a single parent or receive certain benefits.

When do I stop getting Child Benefit?

You will no longer receive Child Benefit after the 31st August following your child’s 16th birthday. You can continue to get Child Benefit until they are 20 if the child stays in education or training. HMRC will send a letter asking about your child’s circumstances when they turn 16. If you intend to keep receiving Child Benefit, you must inform HMRC about your child’s education status. If your child goes into care for more than 8 weeks, or hospital or residential care for more than 12 weeks, then your Child Benefit payments will stop. There are exceptions if you still spend money on them. Child Benefit payments will also stop if the child leaves school and works for over 24 hours a week, if they begin an apprenticeship in England, or they receive benefits themselves.

Which changes in circumstances will affect Child Benefit?

It is important to notify the Child Benefit Office of any changes in circumstances involving the child you are claiming for. When families split up, each parent will then receive £20.70 a week for the oldest child who lives with them. They cannot claim for both children. When two families join into one, the oldest out of all the children will then qualify for the £20.70 rate. All other children in the new family will get the £13.70 rate. If your child no longer lives with you or you separate from a partner whose income no longer supports the child, you should inform the Child Benefit Office. Report any changes to your bank account, address, or relationship status. Report it if your child lives away for over 8 weeks or goes abroad for more than 12 weeks, or they die or get married.