You can claim Child Benefit for each child you are responsible for (you do not have to be their parent) regardless of whether you are working or have savings. You can claim for each child aged under 16 years, or a young person under 20 years if they are still in approved full-time education up to A level or similar, or on certain approved training courses.
Payments are tax-free as long as neither parent earns more than £50,000 a year.
Payments & rates
Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child. The money is usually paid monthly directly into the claimant’s bank account.
Payments each week
How to apply
You can claim Child Benefit once your child has arrived. You will need to complete the online Child Benefit claim form and send it to the Child Benefit Office with the original long or short version of your child’s birth certificate (or adoption certificate). Your certificate will be sent back to you once a decision has been made on your claim.
The Child Benefit claim form is available on GOV.UK. The form is completed online and then printed and posted to:
HM Revenue & Customs
Child Benefit Office
Newcastle upon Tyne
The online form is easy to complete, ensures claimants only fill in relevant parts, identifies errors to ensure less mistakes are made and includes built in help and information.
If your circumstances change in any way that would affect your payments, you must immediately report it to the Child Benefit Office, for example, if your child leaves school or training and starts work.
If you do not report changes you could build up an overpayment which you will have to pay back. You could also be given a penalty for failing to report a change, or even prosecuted for benefit fraud if you are found to have deliberately claimed money you were not entitled to.
Your circumstances can be checked at any time while you are claiming.
High income earners
Parents who chose to receive Child Benefit payments and who individually earn over £50,000 may be taxed on the amount they receive. They will also have to register for self assessment and then complete an annual self assessment return.
You may still want to register for Child Benefit, regardless of whether you receive payments, so that you can:
- earn National Insurance credits, which will count towards your state pension
- protect your entitlement to other benefits such as Guardian's Allowance.
- ensure your child is automatically issued with a National Insurance number before their 16th birthday
See GOV.UK for more detailed Child Benefit information.