Your child benefit entitlement

When you have a child you can claim child benefit, and you can keep on claiming until they are 16 years old, 20 if they remain in approved education or training.

Claiming child benefit helps protect your state pension. If you’re taking time off work and not making national insurance contributions claiming child benefit will help to get credits towards your state pension.

Find out a bit more about child benefit, eligibility and how to make a claim below.

child-benefit

How much is child benefit?

Child Benefit is a tax-free benefit paid every four weeks. The amount of benefit is £20.70 per week for your first child and £13.70 per week for each of your other children.

First child Subsequent children
£20.70 per week £13.70 per week

Eligibility

One person can claim child benefit for each child, including foster parents or adoptive parents. Typically it will be someone responsible for the child, living with them and paying to look after them. That could include giving them pocket money, providing clothing, birthday presents, Christmas presents and food.

Eligibility rules change if your child goes into hospital, into care or lives with somebody else.

You’ll stop receiving child benefit if your child starts paid work for 24 hours per week or more and is no longer in approved education or training.

In addition to the usual rules of eligibility, Child Benefit is now means tested which affects all families where one person earns over £50,000. The benefit will still be paid out in the first instance, but any benefit paid out will be reclaimed through a new income tax charge known as the ‘High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge’. In effect, one parent could claim and still receive the benefit but it will be paid back by this tax charge from the higher earner’s income.

Single parent households with just one income earning over the £50,000 limit will also be subject to 'High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge'.

The gov.uk website has more information about the High Income Child Benefit tax charge here.

How to claim child benefit

You can claim child benefit as soon as the birth is registered or the child comes to live with you. It can take up to 12 weeks to process a new claim but payments can be backdated up to three months.

You can get a child benefit CH2 form from the pack that you receive in hospital after the birth, or you can fill in a child benefit CH2 form online or print it out from here.

You'll need the original birth certificate for your baby, which has to be sent along with your claim form. Find out more about how to get a birth certificate when registering your baby here.

Note: We take care to ensure Talking Finance content is accurate at the time of publication. Individual circumstances differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions.

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