Child benefit can provide claimants with a monthly payment to help with the costs of raising children. It’s also possible that some people may still be receiving (or be eligible to claim) child tax credits, which itself will eventually be replaced by Universal Credit.
Child benefit currently falls into two rates, £21.05 per week will be received for an eldest or only child and additional children will receive £13.95 per child.
Some people may be receiving child tax credit which is a legacy benefit that helps people on low income cover the costs of raising a child.
It is being replaced by Universal Credit and under current rules, child tax credit receivers will need to convert to Universal Credit by March 2023.
Most benefit claimants now will not be able to apply for child tax credit but there are some instances where people could still receive it for the first time.
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Fortunately, the government details on their website that child tax credit will not affect a claimant’s child benefit.
Anyone can claim child benefit if they’re responsible for a child under 16 and they live in the UK.
However, it should be noted that only one person can get child benefit for a child, which means that parents will need to decide which among them will claim for their children.
Child benefit can also be received for fostered children, adopted children or other people’s children if the claimant has an informal arrangement to look after a friend or relative’s child.
Child benefit can usually be claimed as soon as the child’s birth is registered but this rule in itself has changed in recent months.
Due to coronavirus, the government will now allow people to claim child benefit even if they have not registered the birth yet.
So long as it continues to be claimed, child benefit payments will be awarded up until the child turns 16 unless they go into approved training or education.
If the child stays in approved training or education, child benefit can be received up until the child turns 20.
To claim for the first time, people will need to complete a “CH2” form and send it to the child benefit office.
It can take up to 12 weeks to process a claim but they can be backdated by up to three months.
Whoever receives the child benefit will get National Insurance credits towards their state pension.
High earners should carefully consider a child benefit claim as they will need to repay the benefit through their income tax if they earn more than £50,000 a year.