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Child Benefit: What You Need To know

By IntFormalities
Updated on November 29, 2023
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

When you become a parent, raising your child is a responsibility that can’t wait for better financial times. Children need to have their many needs covered, and this can make it feel like a money-consuming and rather stressful time. However, it doesn’t have to be. If you take up all the available financial support for families, raising your young one can definitely become easier.

Are you struggling to provide for your family? The UK government provides a Child Support Scheme, also known as Child Benefit, as a form of monetary aid to help with the kids’ upkeep. Here’s how you can apply for this service.

How to Apply for Child Benefit
You can get financial support from the UK Government if you have a child

What Is Child Benefit and How Does It Work?

Child benefit is a financial stipend available to parents who need some extra help with their family finances. It’s usually available to caregivers who earn less than £50,000 per year. However, if your or your partner’s net salary exceeds this amount, you can still benefit from this service. But you will have to pay the high-income child benefit charge.

Eligibility Criteria

As a rule of thumb, only one guardian can receive this stipend for a child. If you are a beneficiary of other benefits that the government provides, you can still claim child benefits and receive the correct amount for each kid you register. In general, to be eligible you must live in the UK and have kids under 16 (or below 20 if your child is going through approved training or education program). Your kids can be:

  • Foster children, but only if the county council isn’t paying anything towards the care of the child in question
  • Adopted, in which case you do not have to wait until the adoption process is complete to fill out the claim form

If you are taking care of someone else’s child, living abroad, or have a sick child in the hospital, the rules might change slightly. You can find out more about that here.

What Happens If You Separate From Your Partner?

If you and your partner split up, you must determine who will be responsible for the children. The person with custody of the kids will receive the money at the end of every week or month. If you have two children and both have custody of one child, you will get paid £21.80 for each of the kids. But if you have more than one kid under your care, every one of them other than the first child will receive £14.45 per week for their upkeep.

The Amount You Will Get

The child benefit cap is fixed to a particular amount, so you do not need an online benefits calculator to figure out how much you will receive. You’ll receive an award letter once your application is successful. For the first or only child, you get £21.80 every week. If you add other offspring to the list, they get £14.45 per child.

The government will keep sending you these weekly stipends until your child turns 16 years or until you choose to exit the scheme. In some cases, you will continue receiving the money if your child is below 20 years but schools in approved education or training.

You can also read our article on “How to Get Universal Credit in the UK.”

How Will You Receive Your Child Benefit Payment?

Depending on your choice, the money can be sent weekly or monthly. Child benefits payments are usually made monthly, but HMRC child benefits make exceptions for single parents and individuals who are beneficiaries of other state benefits such as income support.

Only one person can receive this cash, so you must decide who will be responsible for it between you and your partner.  Additionally, the money will be sent to any bank account besides a Nationwide cash builder registered in someone else’s name.

How much Child Benefit can you get?
The help consists of a weekly payment of £2180 for your first child and £1445 for subsequent children

How To Apply for Child Benefit

The child benefit department allows you to utilize two options when applying for this financial support. You can fill out the form and then mail the form to the attached address. Alternatively, you can call the child benefit office using the available contacts on the website and apply via phone. If you need any help with the application you can contact the child benefit contact number at 0300 200 3100 for more information.

Documents Needed

At this point, the main question running through your mind is, “What documents do I need?” When filling out the application form, you must provide supporting documents to facilitate an easy and seamless application process. Here’s what you should attach to the application:

You may need to provide your identification details and prove you’re a parent or guardian to the child you’re claiming benefits for.

Processing Time

It can take up to 16 weeks to process your claim, but the time can be lessened if you provide all the necessary details and documents during the application.

To Sum Up

If you have children below 16 or those below 20 in select education institutions, you can claim Child Benefits to assist with paying their expenses and particular school-related bills. You can visit HRMC and click on child benefits to learn more about the application process.

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