Child Benefit

£401 million of Child Benefit was left unclaimed last year

If you have children under the age of 16, and you and your partner both individually earn under £50,000 a year it's simple-

You ARE ENTITLED to claim £20.70 a week for your eldest and £13.70 for every child after that

If you or your partner earn over that threshold you could still be entitled to claim but will have to pay tax on those benefits


Need to know

  • It is FREE money. Child Benefit is a payment which can be claimed from your child’s birth or adoption until they are 16-20 years old
  • Child Benefit is tax free if you and your partner’s individual salaries (including bonuses and any other income) are both under £50,000
  • If you and your partner earn under the threshold you are entitled to £20.70 a week for your first child and £13.70 for every subsequent child.  Even if you both earn £49,999 a year, you will be entitled to the full amount
  • Only one of you can receive the payment- so that’s you or your partner, not both
  • It is paid every 4 weeks straight into your bank account. Although it can be paid weekly if you are on income based support, pension credit or if you are a single parent
  • Child Benefit can be backed dated by up to three months. Apply as soon as you’re able (eg. give birth, recover, fill in Child Benefit form) 
  • There will be Child Benefit forms in the hospital and they are also available online
  • You can claim until your child is 16 or 20 if they stay in approved education or training (here's a list)
  • If your payments are wrong, even if it is the Child Benefit Office that has made the mistake, you will need to repay the difference
  • If your circumstances change (eg. child leaves education) or you are unsure about ANYTHING you should call the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100
  • Child Benefit becomes more complicated if you are fostering, living abroad or have only just moved to the UK, but you may still be eligible, visit the HMRC website for more details
  • Getting Child Benefit will not affect your Statutory Maternity Pay

High income Child Benefit

  • If you or your partner earn between £50,000 and £60,000 you can still receive Child Benefit BUT on a sliding scale
  • At the time of payment you will receive the FULL amount, but you will have to pay some back as tax through a self assessed tax return
  • You can find out how much you'd have to pay back on this Child Benefit calculator, a great tool that takes less than 5 minutes
  • If you choose to, you can OPT OUT by calling the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 or filling in this form
  • Over the £60,000 threshold you are not eligible for Child Benefit. You need to opt-out and if you do receive any you will have to pay it all back through your self assessed tax return 

More information

  • You can get more information or have the form posted to you by calling the Child Benefit Helpline on 0300 200 3100. It took us on average 10 minutes to get through and they were very helpful
  • The form shouldn't take you more than ten minutes. It's available online
  • You will need, your national insurance number, any other Child Benefit numbers you have and your family's details- address etc
  • You need to send the form in to the Child Benefit Office with the birth or adoption certificate of your child, which they will return to you  


HM Revenue and Customs- Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE88 1AA

The inside track

  • Since April 2013 the benefits any one person can receive has been capped at £500 a week for those in a couple and single parents
  • You can check the date of your next payment here
  • Child Benefit is fixed until 2016
  • Claiming Child Benefit can help protect your state pension. If you earn under £107pw, you don't earn enough to contribute to national insurance. However if your child is under the age of 12 and you claim Child Benefit, this qualifies you for National Insurance credits. National Insurance credits are added automatically to your national insurance contributions, protecting your state pension whilst you are not able to contribute yourself
  • Make sure you are getting everything you are entitled to, you may also qualify for Childcare Vouchers or Childcare Tax Credits

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