In this section:
- Child Benefit rates
- When is your next Child Benefit payment due?
- When to expect your first Child Benefit payment
- Bank holidays and Child Benefit payments
- Understanding your Child Benefit Award Notice
- Child Benefit payments stopped or gone down?
- How Child Benefit, tax credits and Guardian's Allowance are paid
- How to change your bank account details for Child Benefit payments
- Child Benefit overpayments
- You haven't received your usual Child Benefit payment
Child Benefit rates
You get a higher rate of Child Benefit for your eldest or only child, and then a lower rate for any additional children. Guardian's Allowance is an extra amount that some people get on top of Child Benefit.
How much do you get?
The amount of Child Benefit you'll get depends on how many children you're entitled to get Child Benefit for, and the current rates of Child Benefit.
The rates are as follows:
|Who the allowance is for||Current weekly amount|
|Eldest or only child||£20.00|
|Additional children - per child||£13.20|
|Guardian's Allowance - per child||£13.45 (£14.10 from 6 April 2009)|
When you start getting Child Benefit you'll get paid at the rates for the current year. The amount you receive usually goes up in April each year. If the rates do change, you'll normally get a letter some time between December and March telling you how much you can expect to get during the next tax year.
What happens if two families join together, or a family splits?
Only one child in your family, or extended family, qualifies for the higher rate of Child Benefit. If two families join together, your eldest child is the one who qualifies for the higher rate. If you are entitled to Child Benefit for any of your other children in the new family you will get the lower rate for each of them.
If a family splits up you can get the higher rate for your eldest child, as long as you still qualify for Child Benefit for them.
What happens if you think you've been paid the wrong amount?
If you think the amount of Child Benefit you've received is wrong, either too much or too little, you need to tell us straight away. You can do this online.
Alternatively, you can call the Child Benefit Helpline on Tel 0845 302 1444 or textphone Tel 0845 302 1474. The Helpline is open between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm seven days a week, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
If your preferred language is Welsh you can call on Tel 0845 302 1489, and if you live outside the UK you can call on Tel + 44 161 210 3086.
You can also write to us at:
Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle upon Tyne
We can reply in a special format if you ask us to, such as Braille, audio cassette or large print.
If you've received too little
If we've paid too little money into your account, we'll make another payment to you or add the money we owe you to your next payment. Either way, we'll contact you to let you know what we're going to do.
If you've received too much
If we've paid you too much for any reason, for example because you didn't tell us about a change in your circumstances, you may have to pay back the extra.