What is Child Benefit?
Child Benefit is a monthly payment made to anyone bringing up a child or a young person. For example, you may be the guardian or carer of your grandchildren. You do not need to be the parent of the child or young person to qualify, but you must be responsible for them.
It is not affected by income or savings, so most people who are bringing up a child or young person will qualify for it. However, it is possible that you will be liable to pay extra tax if you or your partner’s income is over £50,000.
Am I eligible for Child Benefit?
Only one person can claim child benefit for a child or young person.
To claim you must be bringing up a child or young person who is either:
- aged under 16
- or aged under 20 and in full-time education or training (There are some exceptions to this)
For more information visit www.gov.uk.
If the child or young person lives with someone else you can get Child Benefit if:
- you pay money to bring up the child;
- you pay at least the same amount as the Child Benefit you receive for them; and
- the person the child lives with is not getting Child Benefit for them.
You may not be eligible for Child Benefit if:
- the child or young person is looked after or financially supported by the local authority
- is detained in secure or non-secure accommodation
- receives certain benefits in their own right
Contact the Child Benefit Office if you’re not sure if you’re eligible to claim.
How much child benefit may I receive?
There are two child benefit rates. One for a single child and another for additional children in your care. For full details, including the current rates, visit www.gov.uk.
If you are of working age and get benefits like Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit, the government may limit (cap) the amount of weekly benefit for you and your family.
You’re not affected by the cap if you or your partner work, and either of the following apply:
- you or your partner are eligible for Working Tax Credit
- you or your partner get Universal Credit, and your household income is more than £520 a month after tax and National Insurance
- there are other exemptions under the cap, see the Welfare benefits article
How do I apply for Child Benefit?
To make a claim visit www.gov.uk.
It can take up to 12 weeks to process a Child Benefit claim so put in your application as soon as your child is born or comes to live with you. Child Benefit can be backdated for up to 3 months.
Where can I get benefits advice?
You can get benefits advice from a local independent service. They can help guide you through the application process and explain how some benefits may impact upon another:
- Citizens Advice Newcastle give advice to anyone in Newcastle
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service give advice to people in priority groups including those over 65. They have self help material on their website.
- Search Newcastle give benefits advice to older people in the West of Newcastle
- Find more about benefit advice services in Newcastle
Other Useful Information
- Money Advice Service provides online information on the full range of benefits that you may be entitled to. This also includes where to find more help and advice.
- Simple Payment Service was introduced as cheques are no longer used to pay state benefits and Pension credit. Information Now has more details on the service available to those unable to use bank accounts.
Last updated: May 3, 2019