Lorraine Moss, Havering Welfare Adviser today writes in the Havering Daily on Child Benefit.
This was originally called Family Allowance and was first introduced in 1945. The reason for its introduction was to tackle the growing problem of child poverty. In 1975 it changed to Child Benefit.
This benefit makes such a difference to so many families with children. I remember what a help it was when my 2 sons were younger.
Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility (Source Claim Child Benefit: Eligibility – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk))
Only one person can get 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 approved education or training) and you live in the UK.
You’ll usually be responsible for a child if you live with them or you’re paying at least the same amount as Child Benefit (or the equivalent in kind) towards looking after them, for example on food, clothes or pocket money.
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.
Fostering a child
You’ll get Child Benefit if you foster a child, as long as the local council is not paying anything towards their accommodation or maintenance.
Adopting a child
You can apply for Child Benefit as soon as any child you’re adopting comes to live with you – you do not have to wait until the adoption process is complete.
You might be able to get Child Benefit for a period before the adoption – contact the Child Benefit Office to find out.
Looking after someone else’s child
You may be able to get Child Benefit if you’ve got an informal arrangement to look after a friend or relative’s child.
You might not qualify if your local council is paying towards the child’s accommodation or maintenance – contact the Child Benefit Office to find out.
Two people cannot get Child Benefit for the same child – if you want to make a claim, you must agree it with the person who’s currently claiming. HMRC will decide who receives the Child Benefit if you cannot agree.
You may also be entitled to Guardian’s Allowance if you’re responsible for a child who has lost one or both of their parents.
You may be able to get Child Benefit if you go to live in certain countries or if you’re a Crown servant.
If you’ve moved to the UK
If your child starts work or gets benefits in their own right
You’ll stop receiving Child Benefit immediately if your child:● starts paid work for 24 hours or more a week and is no longer in approved education or training● starts an apprenticeship in England● starts getting certain benefits in their own right, such as Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or tax credits
If you or your partner earn over £50,000
You’ll still be eligible for Child Benefit even if you choose to stop receiving it. You can always change your mind and restart your payments.
Contact the Child Benefit Office if you’re not sure about your eligibility.
How Much Will You Get (Source Claim Child Benefit: What you’ll get – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
What you’ll get
There are 2 Child Benefit rates.
Who the allowance is for
Eldest or only child
£14 per child
You must contact the Child Benefit Office if you’re paid too much or too little.
The benefit cap may affect the total amount of benefits you get, including Child Benefit.
How and when Child Benefit is paid
Child Benefit is usually paid every 4 weeks on a Monday or Tuesday.
You can have the money paid weekly if you’re a single parent or getting certain other benefits, such as Income Support.
You can get the money paid into any account, apart from a Nationwide cashbuilder account (sort code 070030) in someone else’s name.
You can only get the money paid into one account.
Child Benefit and your State Pension
If your child is under 12 and you’re not working or do not earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions, Child Benefit can give you National Insurance credits.
These credits count towards your State Pension, so you do not have gaps in your National Insurance record.
If families split up
If a family splits up, you get £21.15 a week for the eldest child.
If you have 2 children and one stays with you and the other stays with your ex-partner, you’ll both get £21.15 a week for each child.
If you both claim for the same child, only one of you will get Child Benefit for them.
If you have other children who are entitled to Child Benefit, you’ll get £14 for each child.
If families join together
If 2 families join together, the eldest child in the new family qualifies for the £21.15 rate and any other children who are eligible will get the £14 rate.
If you or your partner earn over £50,000
You can get Child Benefit if your (or your partner’s) individual income is over £50,000, but you may be taxed on the benefit. This is known as the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge.
If your partner’s income is also over £50,000 but yours is higher, you’re responsible for paying the tax charge. You need to fill in a Self Assessment tax return each tax year and pay what you owe.
Use the Child Benefit tax calculator to estimate how much tax you may have to pay.
Once you earn £60,000 you lose all of your benefit through tax.
How To Claim (Source Claim Child Benefit: How to claim – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
You can claim Child Benefit as soon as you’ve registered the birth of your child, or they come to live with you.
If you’re not able to register the birth of your child because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can still make a claim to receive Child Benefit.
How long it takes
It can take 6 to 12 weeks to process a new Child Benefit claim (or longer if you’re new to the UK). Child Benefit can be backdated for up to 3 months.
Deciding who should claim
Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, so you need to decide whether it’s better for you or the other parent to claim. The person who claims will get National Insurance credits towards their state pension if they are not working or earn less than £184 per week.
Make a claim for the first time
Fill in Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office. The address is on the form.
If your child is adopted, send their original adoption certificate with the form. You can order a new adoption certificate if you’ve lost the original.
If you do not have the certificate you need, send your claim form now and send the certificate once you’ve got it.
If your child’s birth was registered outside the UK
When you send your claim form, include your child’s:● original birth certificate● passport or travel document used to enter the UK
If you’ve lost the original you can order a new birth certificate.
Add a child to an existing claim
Call the child benefit helpline if:● your child is under 6 months old and lives with you● your child was born in the UK and their birth was registered in England, Scotland or Wales more than 24 hours ago● you’re a UK, EEA or Swiss national and you’ve lived in the UK since the start of your claim
When you call, you’ll need your:● National Insurance number● child’s birth certificate
Child Benefit helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3100
Welsh language: 0300 200 1900
Textphone: 0300 200 3103
Outside UK: +44 161 210 3086
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges
If you do not meet the criteria to add a child by phone
You’ll need to make a new claim by post. Fill in Child Benefit form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office. The address is on the form.
If you’re claiming for more than 2 children, also include the ‘additional children’ form.
Claiming Child Benefit for someone else
You may be able to manage someone else’s Child Benefit claim.
I often have customers who are missing out on Child Benefit. When your child reaches 16, you should receive a letter from Child Benefit asking what your child will be doing once they leave year 11. You have to inform Child Benefit of they are staying in Education. If you do not respond then your Child Benefit for that child will stop. Please see When your child turns 16 or leaves education – Gingerbread.