What is Child Benefit?
Child Benefit is money paid by the government to parents or other people responsible for bringing up a child. Administered by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, it currently provides £20.70 per week for the first child and £13.70 for any additional children. It is not means tested and is not taxable unless either you or your partner are high earners (£50,000 and over). You can claim as long as you have a child who is under 16 or in full time education and aged between 16 –20. If you want advice on making a claim then contact one of our benefits advisors on 0871 244 4868 and they will be able to give you all of the information you need.
The History of Child Benefit
A universal allowance was established as part of the welfare state set out by William Beveridge in his 1942 report. Originally proposed to help alleviate poverty in big families it has been described as “one of the best investments the state has ever made” (Jim Griffiths, Labour Minister). Between 1979 and 1981 the family allowance, along with the newer child tax allowance, was replaced by Child Benefit that was paid for all children.
When should I claim?
It can take up to 12 weeks to process a claim or longer if you are new to the UK so claim as soon as your child is born so don’t wait for a birth certificate if this will delay the claim. A birth certificate can always be sent on later. Alternatively claim as or as soon as a child comes to live with you. Claims can be backdated for up to 3 months but in order to avoid any unnecessary delays make your claim as soon as you can. Contact 0843 902 0721 for more information or if you are unsure.
Where do I go with any queries about Child Benefit?
You should contact the Child Benefit Agency on 0871 244 4868 with regard to any changes in circumstances. If your child starts full time paid work or works for 24 hours or more or is living away from you for more than 8 weeks in a row it is important to contact an advisor on the number above. In addition if there are any changes in your family circumstances, such as a relationship change, or change in bank account contact on the number above so that the relevant amendments can be made as quickly as possible. If in any doubt contact should be made so that your claim is correct and up to date.
You may have other queries such as:
- Change of child’s name
- Moving abroad
- Child goes missing
- Gets married, forms a civil partnership or starts to live with a partner
- Going to prison for more than 8 weeks
- Moving to Northern Ireland
- Child in hospital for more than 12 weeks
- Child in residential care for more than 12 weeks.
Who is eligible to make a claim?
Only one person can get Child Benefit. You may be considered to be responsible for a child if you are paying towards looking after them (at least the amount being paid as you will be entitled to). If you are adopting a child then make your claim as soon as the child comes to live with you. If in doubt, contact an advisor.
To find out more about Child Benefits then contact one of the knowledgeable advisors on 0871 244 4868. They have the answers you will need and may save you time and be able to ensure you get any benefit you are entitled to as quickly as possible.