Child Benefit change to come into force next year – will you be affected by new rule?

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered the 2020 Budget to the House of Commons in March this year, with the statement taking place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak. Among the announcements was confirmation of an increase to National Insurance contribution thresholds from £8,632 to £9,500, saving a typical employee around £104 a year from April.

Mr Sunak also said the National Living Wage would increase from £8.21 to £8.72.

Further policy decisions were detailed in Budget 2020 policy papers.

This included a change to Child Benefit.

The document states the government will stop the “export of Child Benefit”.

It goes on to explain: “The government is stopping the export of Child Benefit payments made in respect of children living overseas.

“This will apply to EEA migrants arriving in the UK under the new immigration system, from January 2021.”

What is Child Benefit?

Child Benefit is something a person can get if they’re responsible for bringing up a child who is under the age of 16, or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training.

Only one person is able to get Child Benefit for a child.

However, there’s no limit as to how many children the person can claim for.

The payment is made every four weeks – and this is usually on a Monday or a Tuesday.

Currently, if a person leaves the UK, it may be that they’re able to continue getting Child Benefit for an extended period of time.

Those who go abroad for more than eight weeks are directed to tell the Child Benefit Office.

The payment will continue if the recipient leaves the UK for a short period of time – such as for a holiday or medical treatment.

GOV.UK states the length of time the individual can get Child Benefit for depending on different reasons for leaving the UK.

Those who go abroad for longer may continue to get the payment if they go to live in certain countries, or if they’re a Crown servant.

GOV.UK guidance states a person may get Child Benefit for children living with them in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland if they’re eligible to keep paying National Insurance in the UK and if they’re employed or self-employed.

Those who receive one of the following benefits may also get it:

  • Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • State Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance (Widow’s Pension)
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

Furthermore, people who live in a country that has a social security agreement with the UK may be able to get Child Benefit.

GOV.UK states: “You may be able to get Child Benefit if you’re living in:

  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Canada
  • The Channel Islands
  • Israel
  • Kosovo
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia

Those in this situation are directed to contact the Child Benefit Office to see if they can make a claim.

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