Child Benefit is a tax-free benefit which is paid to people who are bringing up a child aged under 16, or a young person under 20 if they are in full-time non-advanced education or on an approved training course. You can claim Child Benefit for each child you’re responsible for, unless you are being paid a fostering allowance for them.
You do not have to be the child’s parent, but only one person can be awarded Child Benefit for a particular child. If more than one person makes a claim, the person the child lives with will have priority.
After eight weeks, parents lose entitlement to Child Benefit for a child no longer living with them, unless they continue to contribute at least that amount to the cost of supporting the child.
If you receive Child Benefit for a child who is under 12 and you’re not working or don’t earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions, you will qualify for National Insurance credits that can protect your future entitlement to State Retirement Pension.
Child Benefit is currently £20.70 a week for the first child and £13.70 for each subsequent child.
You can get a Child Benefit application form by going to gov.uk or by phoning the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100.
You may be liable to pay a High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge if you or your partner have an individual income of more than £50,000 and one of you gets Child Benefit. It may also apply if someone else receives Child Benefit for a child who lives with you. Find more information about the charge here.