How to claim Child Benefit

Claiming Child Benefit can give a big boost to your family budget. If you’ve just had a baby, make sure you claim before they’re three months old. Even if you think you won’t be entitled to anything, it’s important to still apply, so you don’t miss out on other entitlements.

Who can claim Child Benefit?

You can claim Child Benefit for each child you’re responsible for, regardless of whether you’re working or have savings. You don’t have to be their parent to claim.

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You can claim for each child:

  • under 16
  • under 20 years – if they’re in approved full-time education or training.

Find out more about what is approved full-time education or training on the GOV.UK website

Your Child Benefit will stop if your child starts paid work for 24 hours or more a week, and is no longer in approved education or training.

The same applies if your child starts an apprenticeship or starts receiving certain benefits in their own right.

Payments are tax-free as long as neither parent or carer earns more than £50,000 a year.

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How much is Child Benefit?

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In the 2021/22 tax year, you can claim:

  • £21.15 a week for your first child
  • £14 a week per child for any more children.

That’s more than £1,000 a year if you have one child, and an extra £800 for second and further children.

Child Benefit if you earn more than £50,000

If you or your partner earns over £50,000 a year, you can still claim Child Benefit.

However, you’ll start to pay some of it back in extra Income Tax.

You’ll need to pay back 1% of your family’s Child Benefit for every £100 of your income over £50,000.

If either of you earns over £60,000 a year, you’ll have to repay all your Child Benefit in extra Income Tax.

It can be worth continuing to claim Child Benefit and paying it back, depending on your circumstances.

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How to claim Child Benefit

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You need to fill out a claim form (CH2) and send it to the Child Benefit Office. Download the form on the GOV.UK website

If your child was born in Northern Ireland, or outside the UK, you’ll also need to send your child’s original birth certificate. You’ll get the certificate back.

 

If your child was born in England, Wales or Scotland, you won’t need to send in your child’s birth certificate. But make sure you have it to hand as you’ll need the information on it for the Child Benefit claim form.

If your child is adopted, send their original adoption certificate with the form.

If you’ve lost the original, you can order a new adoption certificate on the GOV.UK website

Coronavirus and registering a birth

You can claim Child Benefit without registering the birth. This is while all General Register Offices are closed during the coronavirus outbreak.

First-time parents need to fill in form CH2. Download the form on the GOV.UK website

It’s important to add a note saying you’ve been unable to register the birth.

Are you already claiming Child Benefit and need to update the claim for a new child? Then you can fill in the CH2 form. Or add the details by calling the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100.

Why it’s important to claim Child Benefit

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If you don’t claim, you might also miss out on:

  • other benefits, such as Guardian’s Allowance
  • your child being automatically issued with a National Insurance number before their 16th birthday.

Even if you don’t think you’ll be entitled to anything – because you or your partner earns over the £50,000 tax-free limit – it’s still worth claiming. This is so you don’t miss out on National Insurance credits.

If either of you earns over £60,000, you can opt not to receive the payments. You’ll avoid the tax charge, but still get the entitlements.

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