Child Benefits

Child Benefit is money paid to parents or other people who are responsible for bringing up a child.  You can now claim child benefit for new-borns before registering their birth. There are no specific age rules for the person making the claim. This is not a means tested benefit. Although child benefit is not taxable, you may be liable for a tax charge if you or your partner earn over £50,000.

You can get Child Benefit if you are responsible for a child who:

  • is under 16; or
  • is aged 16 or 17 and has left education or training and meets Child Benefit ‘extension period’ rules refer to the GOV.UK website for more information; or
  • is aged between 16 and 20 and on (or enrolled on) a full time, non-advanced educational course or an approved training course refer to the GOV.UK  website for more information - which they started, were enrolled on, or accepted on before turning 19.

Rules are complicated for 19 year olds so you should seek advice if you have any concerns about entitlement for a child this age. You do not have to have paid any national insurance contributions to get Child Benefit. If both parents live together, Child Benefit is usually paid to the mother. If both parents do not live together, it is usually paid to the parent with whom the child lives.

How much will you get?
Child Benefit is paid at a higher rate for your oldest child is £21.05 a week. If you have other children, you will receive £13.95 a week for each of them.
You receive Child Benefit for every child or qualifying young person who you are responsible for, even if your other benefits are limited by the two-child limit.
If you get Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, and have been since before 6 April 2004 with a child element included, Child Benefit will affect the amount of Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance you receive.

If you or your partner have an individual income of £50,000 or more and you receive Child Benefit, an income tax charge has been introduced as a way to reduce the value of the Child Benefit you get. Refer to the Turn-2-Us web site for more information

Benefit Cap
Child Benefit is included in the Benefit Cap which limits the total amount of some benefits that working-age people can receive. Child benefit calculates full income when working out your entitlement to other means-tested benefits. Refer to the GOV.UK web site for more information on benefit cap

How will I be paid Child Benefit?
Child Benefit will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account or through the Payment Exception Service if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account. Child Benefit is usually paid every four weeks but it can be paid weekly if you are getting Income Support or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or if you are a single parent.

How to Claim?
You should claim Child Benefit as soon as your child is born or if a child comes to live with you. Child Benefit can be backdated for up to three months if you would have been entitled to it earlier. It does not matter why your claim is late. Request this when claiming.
Download a claim form the HM Revenue and Customs website []  or phone the Child Benefit Office for a claim form:

  • Telephone -0300 200 3100
  • Textphone: 0300 200 3103

You must give evidence of your child, for example,

  • A birth or adoption certificate.
  • You should also give your national insurance number. If you do not have a national insurance number, send in the claim form anyway to save delays.
  • You may also be asked for proof of your identity such as a birth certificate, passport or driving licence
  • existing child benefit reference number – if you are already claim child benefit got other children

Because of coronavirus, it is not possible to register births at the moment. HMRC have confirmed that you will be able to claim Child Benefit without a birth certificate. It is recommended you phone the Child benefit helpline on the above number and advise HMRC that you haven’t been able to register the birth due to Covid-19.

You must report changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to this benefit.

If one or both parents die
You may be able to get Child Benefit if you become the main carer for the child or children of someone who has died. In order to claim you must contact the Child Benefit Office as soon as possible to advise them of the death. You must include the exact date of death, where the child is living now and who’s looking after them.
Child Benefit won’t be transferred to you automatically. If you’re not the person named as the claimant on the original claim form. You will need to make a new claim. Refer to GOV.UK web site for more information  
You can do this either:
online - you’ll need to set up a Government Gateway account if you don’t have one
by Telephone: 0300 200 3100 Monday to Friday: 8am to 4pm

How do I challenge a Child Benefit decision?
If you disagree with the decision made on your Child Benefit claim, you can ask HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to look at the decision again - this is called a ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’.  Mandatory Reconsideration is normally the first step of challenging a benefit or tax credit decision. It is asking the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HMRC to look at their decision again.
You normally have to ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration within one month of the decision date (the date on the decision letter) if you are challenging a benefit decision. You will not be able to appeal to an independent tribunal unless you have first applied for a Mandatory Reconsideration and received a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice.
If you have problems with Child Benefit, you can contact the Child Benefit Helpline on: 0300 200 3100 by telephone
The following sources were used to define the content in this document
Turn-2-US -
If you require assistance contact the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100 or contact a member of the Welfare benefits team whose details can be found via IIUK or vis Directory of Institutions.