Overview

You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in education or training).

You get a tax-free payment for each child.

Child Benefit rates are fixed till 2014.

Child Benefit stops shortly after your child reaches 16 (or 20 if they stay in education or training).

You must report any changes of circumstances to the Child Benefit Office.

Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child.

What you'll get

The current rates are in the table - these rates are fixed until April 2014.

Who the allowance is for Rate (weekly)
Eldest or only child £20.30
Additional children (per child) £13.40
Guardian’s Allowance (per child) £14.75

Guardian’s Allowance is a benefit you could get if you’re bringing up someone else’s child - it’s paid on top of Child Benefit.

How Child Benefit is paid

Child Benefit is paid into your bank account every 4 weeks. You can get it paid weekly if you’re a single parent or getting certain other benefits, eg Income Support.

Eligibility

Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child.

You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in education or training) and you live in the UK.

16-19 year olds

You’ll get Child Benefit for 16-19 year olds if they’re in approved education or training. This includes GCSEs, A levels and NVQs (but not higher education, eg university) and government sponsored training programmes, eg apprenticeships.

Child Benefit continues for 20 weeks if 16 or 17 year olds leave education or training and register with the armed services or a government sponsored careers service.

Adoptions and fostering

You’ll get Child Benefit if you’re not receiving:

  • payments towards accommodation
  • basic maintenance from your local authority

Living abroad

You could get Child Benefit if you’re a national of an EEA country or Switzerland, and work in the UK (or get certain UK benefits, eg State Pension).

New arrivals to the UK

You could get Child Benefit if your main home is now in the UK and you have permission to enter the UK and stay here.

Contact the Child Benefit Office if you have a question about your eligibility.

How to claim

  1. Fill in a Child Benefit claim form.

  2. Send it to the Child Benefit Office with your child’s original birth or adoption certificate.

Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
NE88 1AA

Claim Child Benefit as soon as your child is born or comes to live with you.

Child Benefit can only be backdated for 3 months - make your claim as soon as possible.