Skip to main content

Child Benefit

Reminder for children aged 16 to 19 staying in education or training

You must act now and notify the Child Benefit Office by 31 August 2022 if your child is aged 16 to 19 and staying on at school or in approved education or training.

Call the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100 or report the change online.

If you do this you can continue to receive Child Benefit for a child or young person aged 16-19. However, if your fail to notify the Child Benefit Office of this your Child Benefit, for any child aged 16 years or above, will stop automatically.

What is it?

Child benefit is a payment which can be paid to parents or other people who are responsible for bringing up a child. 

You get Child Benefit if you’re responsible for bringing up a child who is:

Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child.

It’s paid every four weeks and there’s no limit to how many children you can claim for.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible you must be responsible for bringing up a child who is:

Who pays it?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

What you will get?

Child Benefit is paid at the following rates:

  • £21.80 per week for the eldest or only child
  • £14.45 per week per child for any other children

Child Benefit is usually paid every four weeks on a Monday or Tuesday. It is tax-free. 

You can choose to have your Child Benefit paid weekly if you’re a single parent or if you receive certain income benefits, such as Universal Credit and Income Support.

How do I apply?

If you are applying for the first time you can call the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100 and ask for a claim form to be posted to your home address or you can download and print a claim form

The form is known as a CH2 form and it needs to be completed and then posted to HMRC. The address to return the form to is on the form.

It can take up to 16 weeks to process a new Child Benefit claim (or longer if you’re new to the UK).

You should claim Child Benefit as soon as possible as claims can only be backdated up to a maximum of 3 months.

If you are applying to add a child to an existing claim you can do this over the phone, by calling the Child Benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100 if, all of the following apply:

  • your child is under 6 months old and lives with you
  • your child was born in the UK
  • your child’s birth was registered in England, Scotland or Wales more than 24 hours ago
  • you’re a UK or Irish national and you’ve lived in the UK since the start of your claim

When you call you’ll need to have the following:

  • National Insurance number
  • Child’s birth certificate

Is it National Insurance based?

It is not national insurance based but one person can get Child Benefit for a child so you need to decide whether it’s better for you or the other parent to claim. The person who claims will get National Insurance credits towards their state pension if they are not working or earn less than £190 per week.

Child Benefit and your State Pension

If your child is under 12 and you’re not working or do not earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions, Child Benefit can give you National Insurance credits.

These credits count towards your State Pension, so you do not have gaps in your National Insurance record.

Is it means-tested?

No. There is no income threshold meaning you are eligible regardless of your income however you may have to pay back some of your Child Benefit in tax if you (or your partner) have an individual income over £50,000 and if you have an individual income of over £60,000 you lose all of your Child Benefit through tax

How long is it paid for?

It will continue to be paid for as long as you qualify for Child Benefit for the child as long you as remain caring for them.

Will it affect other benefits you receive?

Child Benefit is usually not counted as income and generally will not affect your entitlement to any other benefits, however if you are affected by the benefit cap this can affect the total amount of benefits you get including, income from Child Benefit.

Making changes to the claim

You must report any change of circumstances to the Child Benefit Office by calling. Changes may include the following:

  • you move house - if you do not report a change of address and the Child Benefit Office is not able to contact you, your payments will stop.
  • your child leaves the family home
  • you separate from your partner
  • a change in your child’s circumstances, for example your child leaves education or training

Child Benefit stops automatically on 31 August on or after your child’s 16th birthday if they leave approved education or training.

You must notify the Child Benefit Office before 31 August, if your child, aged 16 to 19 years old is staying on at school or another form of approved education or training.

You can do this online or by calling the Child Benefit Office on 0300 200 3100.

You can then continue to receive Child Benefit for your child or young person, aged 16 to 19, until they reach the age of 20, providing they stay in approved education or training. You must notify the Child Benefit office when they leave approved education or training.

When approved education or training ends

When your child leaves approved education or training, Child Benefit payments will stop at the end of either February, 31 May, 31 August or 30 November (whichever comes first).

Apply for an extension

You can apply for an extension and get Child Benefit for a further 20 weeks if your child leaves approved education or training and has either:

  • registered with the local careers service, or
  • signed up to join the armed forces

Can I challenge the decision?

You can challenge a decision if you are unhappy with it. To find out how to do this please refer to the challenging decisions page.

How to contact us?

If you need further advice or support about Child Benefit you can get in touch with the Tackling Poverty Team by email at or by calling the team on 01698 332551.

Page last updated:
15 Sep 2022

Help us improve this pageClose

We're sorry this page didn't meet your expectations this time, please let us know if you have any feedback to help us improve.

Thank you for your feedback