Claiming Child Benefit
Get money saving tips straight to your inbox
Join 100,000+ subscribers to get our free newsletter packed with tips and advice.
Privacy promise: We will never share your data or spam you.
Claiming Child Benefit can give a big boost to your family budget. If you’ve just had a baby make sure you get your claim in before your baby is three months old. And even if you think you won’t be entitled to anything because either you or your partner earns over the limit, you should still claim – otherwise you’ll miss out on a number of other entitlements.
Who can claim Child Benefit?
You can claim Child Benefit for each child you are responsible for (you do not have to be their parent) regardless of whether you are working or have savings. You can claim for each child aged under 16 years, or a young person under 20 years if they are still in approved full-time education up to A level or similar, or on certain approved training courses.
Payments are tax-free as long as neither parent earns more than £50,000 a year.
If you’re not sure you can claim and for more information on the eligibility rules for making a claim, check the GOV.UK website. Alternatively call the Child Benefit Helpline on 0300 200 3100.
What’s Child Benefit worth?
Did you know?
A family with two children can claim nearly £1,800 a year in Child Benefit. That’s useful extra income for any family.
You get £20.50 per week for your first child and £13.55 a week for any further children.
That’s more than £1,000 a year if you have one child and an extra £700 for subsequent children. The current rates are fixed until April 2015.
Child Benefit for people earning more than £50,000
From January 2013 onwards:
- If you or your partner earns over £50,000 a year, you will have to pay back some of your Child Benefit in the form of extra Income Tax
- If you or your partner earns over £60,000 you will have to repay all of your Child Benefit in the form of extra Income Tax
Find out more about the changes, how they might affect you and what you have to do in our guide Changes to Child Benefit from 2013.
How to claim Child Benefit
You need to fill out a form and send it to the Child Benefit Office along with your child’s original birth certificate (which you’ll get back). If you don’t have the certificate you can send in the form anyway and send in the certificate as soon as you have it.
Claim Child Benefit as soon as your child is born
Of course you’ll have lots of other things to do and remember in the first few weeks, but it’s worth claiming straight away because your Child Benefit payments can only be backdated three months from the date your application is received.
Why it’s important to claim Child Benefit
Claiming Child Benefit will help you protect your State Pension, if you’re at home looking after your baby or children and not paying National Insurance, as you’ll get credits towards your State Pension.
Phone the Pension Service helpline on 0845 606 0265 to talk it through with an adviser.
If you don’t claim you might also miss out on:
- Other benefits such as Guardian’s Allowance
- Your child being automatically issued with a National Insurance number before their 16th birthday
So don’t be put off by all the press surrounding the changes. Make sure you claim. You can always opt not to receive the payments – and avoid the tax charge – but still get all these additional entitlements.