As GCSE results day draws in, it’s time for our children to decide what their next step will be. Whether that’s carrying onto A-levels and aiming to get into university, completing an apprenticeship in hopes of getting a job after completion or going to college and completing a course in a chosen field, no matter what they do it’s in your best interest to update HMRC on their decision. This is because after August the 31st if you haven’t updated your information then you will automatically miss out on receiving your entitled child benefits if they choose to stay in approved full-time education. According to the HM Revenue and customs 2018-19 report around £40bn was paid to families in child benefits, however, 29% of people that were eligible for this missed out by not reapplying.
Can I claim Child Benefits?
Child Benefits are when you are given money by the government to help look after your children under 16 years old (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training). If you earn under £50,000 per year you’re entitled to £1,067 and then another £712.40 for any additional children. If you’re responsible for someone else’s child as a guardian then you’re eligible for the guardian’s allowance rate, this entitles you to an additional £17.60 a week and is also tax-free. If you earn between £50,000 and £60,000 then you’re likely to be affected by the high-income Child Benefit charge. If you earn over £60,000 a year then you’re unable to apply for child benefits.
What’s approved education?
According to the Government website, this is what counts as approved education for children aged 16 up until 19:
Education must be full-time. This means more than an average of 12 hours a week of supervised study or course-related work experience.
- A Levels or similar
- International Baccalaureate
- NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3
- Home education – if started before your child turned 16
- Scottish Highers
- Traineeships in England
Courses are not approved if paid for by an employer or “advanced”, for example, a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate.
Approved training should be unpaid and can include:
- Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales
- Employability Fund programmes in Scotland
- United Youth Pilot (if started before June 1, 2017), PEACE IV Children and Young People 2.1 or Training for Success in Northern Ireland
- Courses that are part of a job contract are not approved.
How to reapply for Child Benefits
It’s essential that you reapply before August 31st to receive your child benefits on time. You can still reapply after this date, however, your payments will be late in comparison to if handed in before the 31st which can cause complications, as payments are only backdated for three months. Delaying your reapplication can in fact lose your entitled benefits.
If you’re part of the group who need to reapply then you should have been sent a form by the government for you to fill out and send back. If you’ve lost your form then you’re able to fill out an online application on the condition that you also complete a personal tax account.
If you’ve already filled in the forms and nothing on your account has changed or you are unsure about the form you’re filling in make sure to go through to our contact page and call HMRC customer services. Their offices are open 8am- 8pm on weekdays and 8am- 4pm on Saturday. If calling, make sure to have your National Insurance and Child Benefit number ready.