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Child Benefit payments stopped or gone down?

There could be a number of reasons why your Child Benefit payments have stopped. It might be for the simple reason that your circumstances have changed and the Child Benefit Office don't know about them.

Why has your Child Benefit stopped?

There are several reasons why your Child Benefit payments may have stopped. These include:

  • the Child Benefit Office have written to you but you haven't replied to their enquiry
  • your child has turned 16 and you haven't told the Child Benefit Office if they are staying on in relevant education or training
  • your bank account details have changed and you haven't told the Child Benefit Office
  • you've changed your address recently and haven't told the Child Benefit Office
  • your child has gone into care
  • your child now lives with someone else

If you haven't replied to the Child Benefit Office

If the Child Benefit Office have written to you and you don't reply to the enquiry or their reminders, they'll stop your Child Benefit payment because they can't be sure of your whereabouts.

If your child has turned 16

In the school year that your child reaches 16 the Child Benefit Office contact you to find out if they're going to carry on in relevant education or training.

If they are, they'll also ask for the date you expect them to leave. When you reply they'll tell you if we can continue paying Child Benefit.

They'll stop your payments from the first Monday in September if:

  • you don't reply to the Child Benefit Office
  • you tell them that your child isn't going to carry on in relevant education or training

If your payments have stopped but you still think your child qualifies for Child Benefit, contact the Child Benefit Office straight away.

If your bank account details have changed

If you've recently changed the details of the account the Child Benefit Office pay your Child Benefit into and you haven't told them, your payment will have been sent to your old account.

You need to let them have your new details straight away so they can arrange to send future payments to the correct account.

If you've recently moved house

If you've recently moved house and haven't told the Child Benefit Office your new address, they may stop your Child Benefit payments because they can't contact you.

You can prevent this from happening by letting them know in good time if you change your address.

If your child has gone into care

Your child may have gone into the care of:

  • a local authority in England, Wales or Scotland
  • Health and Social Services Board or Trust in Northern Ireland

The Child Benefit Office may be able to pay Child Benefit for the first eight weeks in a row that your child's in care. After that, your payments may stop unless you still qualify for Child Benefit.

If your child now lives with someone else

If your child lives with someone else, that person may also decide to make a claim for Child Benefit.

Sometimes the Child Benefit Office receive a claim from someone else and you won't know that this has happened until they write to tell you. They can't tell you who has made the claim though.

Your payments may be suspended until it's clear who should get the money.

What to do if you haven't got your payment

If you haven't had your payment and your circumstances haven't changed or your child isn't aged 16 or over, it is worth checking with your bank, building society or Post Office ® to see if there is a simple explanation.

Contacting the Child Benefit Office

If you need to contact the Child Benefit Office you can send them your query online.

Alternatively, you can call the Child Benefit Helpline on 0845 302 1444 or textphone 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 0845 302 1489, and if you are telephoning from outside the UK you can call on +44 161 210 3086.

If you prefer you can write to them at:

Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE88 1AA

Provided by HM Revenue and Customs

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