How to claim Child Benefit

Claiming Child Benefit can give a big boost to your family budget. If you’ve just had a baby, make sure you claim before it’s three months old. Even if you think you won’t be entitled to anything, you should still apply so you don’t miss out on other entitlements.

Who can claim Child Benefit?

You can claim Child Benefit for each child you’re responsible for (you do not have to be their parent), regardless of whether you’re working or have savings.

You can claim for each child:

If your child starts paid work for 24 hours or more a week and is no longer in approved education or training, your Child Benefit will stop.

The same applies if your child starts an apprenticeship or starts receiving certain benefits in their own right.

Payments are tax-free as long as neither parent or carer earns more than £50,000 a year.

How much is Child Benefit?

Did you know?

A family with two children can claim nearly £1,800 a year in Child Benefit.

In the 2018-19 tax year, you can claim:

  • £20.70 per week for your first child
  • £13.70 a week for any further children.

That’s more than £1,000 a year if you have one child and an extra £700 for second and further children.

Child Benefit if you earn more than £50,000

If you or your partner earns over £50,000 a year, you can still claim Child Benefit. However, you’ll start to pay back some of it back in extra Income Tax

You’ll need to pay back 1% of your family’s Child Benefit for every £100 or your income over £50,000.

If either of you earn over £60,000 a year, you’ll have to repay all of your Child Benefit in extra Income Tax.

It can be worth continuing to claim Child Benefit and paying it back, depending on your circumstances.

How to claim Child Benefit

Top tip

It’s worth claiming Child Benefit straight away as your payments can only be backdated three months from the date your application is received.

You need to fill out a claim form (CH2) 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 forward the certificate as soon as you have it.

Why it’s important to claim Child Benefit

Did you know

If you go back to work, a family member might be able to claim National Insurance credits if they help look after your child. Find out more about Specified Adult Childcare credits here.

Claiming Child Benefit will help you protect your State Pension.

If you’re off work looking after your child and not paying National Insurance contributions, claiming Child Benefit will ensure you get credits towards your State Pension.

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.

Even if you don’t think you’ll be entitled to anything because either you or your partner earns over the £50,000 tax-free limit, it’s still worth claiming so you don’t miss out on National Insurance credits.

If either of you earns over £60,000, you can always opt not to receive the payments - and avoid the tax charge - but still get the entitlements.

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