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Saturday, 9 October 2010

How to claim Child Benefit

The only way to claim Child Benefit is to fill in a Child Benefit claim form and send it to the Child Benefit Office along with your child's birth or adoption certificate. You can't claim over the phone or the internet.

Where to get the claim form

There are a couple of ways of getting a claim form. You can:

  • get one from the 'Bounty Pack' that's given to new mothers in hospital
  • fill in a Child Benefit claim form on screen and print it out - you'll still need to send it to the Child Benefit Office

You can also print out a blank Child Benefit claim form in Welsh, if that’s your preferred language, and fill it in by hand.

If you have any problems completing the form on screen, you can call the Child Benefit Helpline.

You can also get the claim form from the Child Benefit Helpline if you have problems getting hold of one.

Before you complete the claim form, please read the accompanying notes that will help you fill it in.

When to claim Child Benefit

Your Child Benefit can only be backdated for up to three months from the date the Child Benefit Office receives your claim. So it's best to make your claim straight away to avoid losing money.

You should claim Child Benefit as soon as:

  • your child is born
  • a child you're responsible for comes to live with you
  • you adopt a child who's living with you
  • you start paying towards the cost of looking after your child unless they live with someone else who's already getting Child Benefit

If your child has died and you want to claim Child Benefit for them, you should do so within three months of the date your child died.

Who can claim?

Anyone who's bringing up a child can claim. This is usually the mother, but it doesn’t have to be.

Paperwork you'll need

You'll need one of the following certificates for your child when you claim:

  • a birth certificate
  • a birth certificate you get after adoption
  • an adoption certificate

This must be the original and not a copy.

If you haven't got the certificate, send the Child Benefit Office your claim form anyway. They'll ask you to send the certificate later.

You don't need to send the certificates for any of your children that you (or someone else) have had Child Benefit for in the past.

Where to send your claim form

Once you've completed your claim form, send it along with the certificate, to:

Child Benefit Office (Washington)
NEA 10463
PO Box 133
NE38 7BR

Provided by HM Revenue and Customs

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Additional links

Benefits advice online

Online benefits adviser

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