Child benefit: Under what contexts can the benefit be received after the child turns 16?
So long as the claimant is eligible, child benefit will be paid every four weeks, usually on a Monday or Tuesday. The benefit can be claimed as soon as the birth of the child is registered. While only one person (and by extension, one parent) can claim the benefit for the child, the payments will continually come in for years. There are also additional perks to claiming child benefits, such as receiving National Insurance credits which make the benefit beneficial in most circumstances. However, the benefit is likely to stop when the child turns 16.
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The benefit stops on August 31 on or after the child’s 16th birthday in most cases.
It is still possible to carry on receiving child benefit beyond this if the child stays in “approved education or training”.
The government detail that in order for education to achieve approved status it must be full time, which they define as being more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience.
They go on to detail that this can include A levels or similar qualifications such as Pre-U or an International Baccalaureate.
Also included are Scottish Highers, NVQs and other vocational qualifications up to level 3, home education if it was started before the child turned 16 or traineeships in England.
They note that sources are not approved if they are paid for by an employer or advanced.
This specifically includes a university degree or BTEC Higher National Certificate. Importantly, the child must be accepted onto the course before they turn 19 for it to qualify.
The government detail that for approved training, it should be unpaid but it doesn’t detail if the training will not qualify if it is paid.
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Examples of approved training schemes include foundation apprenticeships or traineeships in Wales, employability fund programmes in Scotland, a united youth pilot if started before June 1, 2017, PEACE IV Children and Young People 2.1 or Training for Success in Northern Ireland.
Courses that are part of a job contracted or included as a perk of employment are not approved.
Just as with education, the child must be accepted onto these training schemes before they turn 19. If these parameters are met, it is up to the parent or claimant to inform the government so that payments can carry on being received.
To do this, the online form CH297 will need to be completed and returned to the state.
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Changes to the approved training or education, once it has begun, can affect the corresponding payments.
There may be instances where the training or education is halted, for example, if the child switches college.
So long as the delay is temporary and the child still intends to complete the scheme, child benefit could still be received during the gap.If this is the case the child benefit office will need to be kept updated on the situation.
Even if the child leaves the training or education it could still be possible to receive child benefit for 20 weeks, which the government refers to as an extension.
For this to be an option, the child must either register with their local careers service or sign up to join the armed forces.
This extension must also be manually applied for by either phone, post or by completing a CH299 form. Beyond the age of 20, it will no longer be possible to receive child benefit.
It’s important to note that, as it stands, child benefit is one of the few benefits that is separate from Universal Credit.
Universal Credit payments will not be affected by claiming child benefit. There are separate benefits within universal credit for children and families but these will need to be applied for through an entirely different system.
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