Everything worth knowing about claiming Child Benefit

Do you have children and could do with a little bit of extra financial support from the Government? As a parent, you are entitled to claim Child Benefit for each of your children regardless of the salary you are on.

What is Child Benefit?

Child Benefit is money paid to you by the government if you are a parent or are the person responsible for a child/children. It is distributed by HMRC, and provides up to £20.70 per week for your first child, and £13.70 a week for any additional children. It’s not tested by means (based on your income) and is not taxed unless you or your partner earn over £50,000. Providing you have a child that is under the age of 16 then it’s highly likely you are entitled to make a claim.

Are you looking for advice on how to make your claim? Get in touch with the Child Benefit customer services team and they will be more than happy to help you with any questions or queries you have.

Father and Daughter

When is the right time to make a claim?

The process can take up to 3 months so it’s important to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible so you can start claiming the financial support as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait for for the birth certificate to come through, this will only delay your claim further. To avoid any necessary delays, make sure to submit your application as soon as you possibly can. This can be as early as the day your child comes to live with you.

How do I contact Child Benefit?

It’s a simple and easy process to submit your claim, you simply get in touch with the Child Benefit service and they will help you. They can help with anything from general enquiries about Child Benefit or can update you on the progress in your claim.

If your child is in full-time work or works for 24 hours or more or lives away from home for 8 weeks or more than it’s important you get in touch with an advisor. Also, if you have any change in family circumstances or a change in bank account then contact their customer services as soon as you can to make any relevant amendments that are needed. If you have any doubt about what you’re receiving then contact should be made so that your claim is correct and up to date.

Other queries include:

  • A change in a child’s name
  • Moving abroad
  • Your child is reported missing
  • Gets married/civil partnership/moves in with a partner
  • Goes to prison for 8 weeks or more
  • Moves to Northern Ireland
  • Child in hospital for 12 weeks or more
  • Child in residential care for 12 weeks or more

Mother and Son

Can both parents make a claim?

Unfortunately, the simple answer is no. Only one parent can actually claim Child Benefit as it is paid per child. You don’t have to be a direct parent to claim. If you’re solely responsible for a child, such as adoption, then you’re also entitled to claim Child Benefit. Again, this is per child and not per parent.

What can Child Benefit be used for?

It can be pretty much be used for anything that pays towards the child. It can be used to help to fund things like school uniform needed when your children start school or can be used to put towards food shopping costs that will get steeper as your children get older. It’s pretty much there to support you with anything you need support with. So if you’re a parent, there’s no reason to not apply for it, it’s there to help you.

Brothers

To find out more about Child Benefit, visit the HMRC website.