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What is Child Benefit?

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Child Benefit is a tax-free regular payment made to anyone bringing up a child or young person. It is paid for each child that qualifies and isn't affected by income or savings, so most people bringing up a child can get it.

Who is eligible?

You'll be able to get Child Benefit if you're bringing up:

  • a child aged under 16
  • a young person under 19 (under 20 in some cases) who is either studying in full-time education (A level or equivalent) or an approved training programme
  • a 16 or 17 year old who recently left full-time further education and has registered for work or training

How much do you get?

  • £20.30 per week for the eldest child
  • £13.40 per week for each additional child

Effect on other benefits or credits

Although Child Benefit isn't 'means tested' (it's not affected by income or savings), it can affect the amount of other benefits you may be getting that are means tested. These benefits include:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing / Council Tax Benefit
  • New Deal 50 plus Employment Credit

For Tax Credit purposes Child Benefit is not counted as income.

How to claim

You should claim Child Benefit as soon as:

  • your child is born
  • a child or young person comes live with you
  • you adopt a child
  • you start to contribute to the cost of looking after a child

To get Child Benefit, you'll need to complete a claim form and submit the child or young  person's birth or adoption certificate. Photocopies cannot be accepted.

If your child has just been born, you should have received a claim form in your 'Bounty Pack' from the hospital. Or you can complete a form online (or print one out to fill in later) at the HM Revenue & Customs website.

How’s it paid?

Child Benefit can be paid into a bank, building society, Post Office® card account or National Savings account that accepts Direct Payment:

  • Child Benefit is paid every four weeks, but it can be paid weekly if:
  • you're a single parent
  • you or your partner or civil partner are getting Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

What to do if your circumstances change

You'll need to let the Child Benefit Office know if your circumstances change - for example, if the child you're getting Child Benefit for:

  • is 16 or 17 and has left full-time further education and registers for work or training.
  • is 16 to 19 and has left full-time further education earlier than the date you told the Child Benefit Office
  • no longer lives with you

Contacts:

Tel: 0845 302 1444 Textphone: 0845 302 1474 (8.00 am to 8.00 pm seven days a week)

You can let the Child Benefit Office know about your change in circumstances online, though the link:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefit/online.htm