Child benefit: Everything you need to apply according to Citizens Advice

Child benefit will pay a weekly rate of £21.05 for an eldest or only child. Claimants will receive £13.95 for additional children and there is no limit on how many children can be claimed for.


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Any parent or person responsible for raising a child can apply for child benefit but there can be costs involved for people who earn over certain thresholds.

Claimants who earn between £50,000 and £60,000 will have to pay some of the child benefit back as income tax.

They will be required to pay back one percent of the family’s child benefit for every extra £100 earned over £50,000.

If more than £60,000 is earned, the entirety of child benefit payments will need to be repaid as income tax.

Because of these rules, some may wonder if there is even a point in claiming child benefit if it needs to be paid back.

This is an understandable concern but the government will allow families to officially apply for child benefit but forgo the actual payments, which will mean there is no income tax cost imposed.

The government encourages people to claim child benefit regardless of their financial situation because doing so brings with it additional perks.

Claiming child benefit will protect a person’s state pension record, which will be especially useful if one of the parents decides to not go back to work.

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Not claiming child benefit may also force the claimant to miss out on:

  • Other benefits such as guardian’s allowance
  • Their child being automatically issues with a national insurance number before they turn 16

The state has made efforts to make claiming as streamlined as possible, child benefit can be claimed from as soon as the birth of a child is registered.

This rule itself has also been altered in recent weeks to make things easier during this tough period, it is now possible to claim child benefit before registering the birth while all register offices are closed during the lockdown.


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Claiming child benefit should be a straightforward process, but there are certain pieces of information and documentation needed for it according to Citizens Advice.

They explain that the following pieces of personal details will be needed:

  • The claimant’s and their partners national insurance number
  • The claimant’s average annual income before tax deductions
  • Bank, building society or post office account details
  • The child’s birth certificate or adoption certificate
  • Additional child benefit numbers if the person is already claiming for other children
  • The child’s passport if they were born outside the UK

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It should be noted that it could take up to three months before the first payment comes through.

However, if the claimant was eligible for child benefit before HMRC got the claim form, their claim will be automatically backdated up to a maximum of three months.

Child benefit is usually paid every four weeks but it may be paid weekly if the claimant is a single parent or if they get either:

  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Income-based employment and support allowance
  • Universal credit
  • Pension credit

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