How much is Child Benefit? Eligibility, Steps-by-step guide to Claim!

UK Child Benefit offers tax-free payments for kids under 16 (or under 20 in approved education). From April 2024: £25.60/week for oldest child, £16.95/week for others. Aids 500K+ families, saving £1,260 avg. 

How much is Child Benefit?

Child Benefit in the UK is a tax-exempt allowance provided for each child under 16, or under 20 if they’re engaged in approved education or training. 

Starting April 2024, the rate will be £25.60 weekly for the eldest child and £16.95 weekly for each subsequent child. This adjustment aims to assist over half a million families, with an anticipated average savings of £1,260.

Child Benefit is not means-tested, but if you or your partner have an income over £50,000, you may be liable for the High Income Child Benefit Charge.

UK Child Benefit Eligibility 

Child Benefit in the UK is available to many families with qualifying children, but there are specific eligibility criteria:

  • You (or your partner) are living in the UK.
  • You are responsible for a child under 16 years old.
    • This typically means you live with the child or contribute financially at least as much as the Child Benefit amount for their upkeep (e.g., food, clothes).
  • (Extended Eligibility): The child is under 20 years old and in approved education or training (full-time).
  • You can also claim for a temporary period (20 weeks) if a 16 or 17-year-old leaves education and registers with a careers service or the armed forces.
  • Only one person can claim Child Benefit per child. Parents can decide who receives it, otherwise, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will determine who qualifies.
  • Certain benefits may affect your eligibility. If you claim Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, or Universal Credit, you may not be eligible for Child Benefit.
  • If you or your partner has an individual taxable income exceeding £60,000 per year (as of April 6, 2024), you may be subject to a charge and have to repay some or all of the Child Benefit.

Steps to claim Child Benefit 

Claiming Child Benefit in the UK is a straightforward process that can be done entirely online through the government website GOV.UK. Here are the steps involved:

How much is Child Benefit?

  • Visit the GOV.UK Child Benefit page at https://www.gov.uk/child-benefit
  • Click on the green button “Make a new claim”.
  • You’ll be directed to a secure login page. If you have a Government Gateway account, log in using your existing details. If not, select “Create a Government Gateway account” and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Once logged in, you’ll be guided through an online form. Enter the required details about yourself, your child(ren), and your preferred payment method.
  • You may be asked to upload a scanned copy of your child’s birth or adoption certificate as proof.
  • Review your application thoroughly before submitting it.
  • Once submitted, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your claim reference number.
  • The processing time for online claims is usually around 3 weeks.

How long does it take to receive Child Benefit after applying?

The waiting time to receive your first Child Benefit payment in the UK after applying online can vary depending on the processing speed:

Child Benefit payments in the UK are typically issued every four weeks, but the exact day can vary depending on a few factors:

  • Standard Payment Schedule: Normally, Child Benefit payments are paid on a Monday or Tuesday.
  • Bank Holidays: If the scheduled payment date falls on a bank holiday, the payment will be issued on the next working day.
  • Weekly Payments: In some cases, you might receive Child Benefit payments weekly instead of every four weeks. This applies if:
    • You’re a single parent
    • You or your partner are receiving certain benefits like Income Support
  • Best-case scenario: You could receive your first payment within 3 days if your claim is straightforward and submitted electronically with all the necessary documentation.
    • Faster processing (3 days): This is becoming more common with the online system, but it’s not guaranteed for all applicants.
  • Typical timeframe: However, a more typical timeframe for processing a Child Benefit claim online is around 3 weeks.
    • Standard processing (3 weeks): This is the usual timeframe to expect your claim to be reviewed and your first payment issued.

What to do if I didn’t receive Child Benefit?

If you haven’t received your expected Child Benefit payment in the UK, here is what you can do to investigate:

Contact HMRC:

  • If you’ve verified the payment schedule, check your bank statements, and your claim seems processed based on online tracking, it’s time to contact HMRC. You have a few options:
    • Child Benefit Helpline: Call 0300 200 3100 to speak to a representative about your missing payment.
    • Online Enquiry Form: You can submit an online inquiry form through GOV.UK website.

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