Child Benefit

Who is it for?
All children and young people living in the UK unless they are barred by immigration status from claiming (child benefit counts as ‘public funds’)

Who pays it?
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
Child Benefit Centre
PO Box 1
NE88 1AA
Tel 0845 3021444
Textphone 0845 3021474
Email –

Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
Claims made on form provided on request from HMRC/ Job Centre Plus office or on-line ( Change of circumstances can also be notified on-line.

What are the age limits?
For children up to 16 or under 20 if still in non-advanced education (with certain conditions). Claimant (parent) can be under 16 and still eligible.

National Insurance based?

Means tested?

How long does it last?
Until child reaches school leaving point after 16th birthday, but then extended as far as 20th birthday so long as parent applies and young person still in non-advanced education that began beofre 19th birthday.

Can also be extended for up to 20 weeks for 16/17 years olds when young person leaves education but is unable to find work or training. CB may stop after 12 weeks in hospital (but not if parents still incurring expense for the child). CB may stop after child has been ’looked after’ for 8 weeks (but not if sole reason for being looked after is the child’s disability) .

What is effect on other benefits?
Counts as income for all means tested benefits except Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, but from November 2009, it has no longer counted as income when Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are calculated as well. If claimant is getting income support for self and CTC for children, child benefit does not count as income. Gives home responsibility protection for parent’s retirement pension purposes.

Is it taxable?

Increases for dependants?

Payable if in EU or other?
Yes if certain numerous alternative conditions met. Check with Overseas Benefits Directorate Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE98 1YX. Tel: 0191 213 5000.

Points to watch
Backdating 3 months. Not paid to foster carers but can be paid to adopting parents and people with residence and special guardianship orders. Payable in respect of  young people who have left school but who are on certain training schemes such as Entry to Employment (E2E). Can be reclaimed if child re-enters non-advanced education before 19th birthday.

You can view details of benefit amounts on the Community Care Inform website

The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform


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