Child Benefit payments: Why has my Child Benefit gone down?

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Child Benefit can be claimed by people who are bringing up a child under the age of 16. But the benefit also applies to people with children who are under the age of 20, providing they stay in education or some form of training.

What is Child Benefit?

Child Benefit also entitles the claimant to National Insurance credits, which are used to determine how much State Pension you receive when you reach retirement age.

For your eldest or only child, you could be eligible for a weekly Child Benefit payment of £21.05, which is usually paid every four weeks.

For any additional children, the weekly rate is £13.95 per child – although the total amount you receive may be impacted by the benefit cap.

Why has your Child Benefit gone down?

There are a number of changes you have to inform HMRC about when claiming Child Benefit.

These changes can impact how much you receive in Child Benefit, and you may find your benefit payments increase or decrease.

Citizens Advice explain: “You must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about any changes to your children or living arrangements. This is called a ‘change of circumstance’.

“You should report the changes as soon as you know about them – ideally within one month.

“The change might increase your payment and you might miss out on extra money if you tell HMRC late.

“You should still tell HMRC if you think a change might reduce your Child Benefit – you won’t save money by reporting it later.

“If you tell HMRC late you could get paid too much and have to pay your benefits back to HMRC. This is called an overpayment.”

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The Government website outlines you should contact the Child Benefit Office about changes which could affect your Child Benefit payments.

The types of changes which need to be reported are extensive and include changes to your child’s life – such as your child starting paid work, living away from you or getting married.

Changes which also need to be reported include any change of circumstances in your family life.

This includes whether you have got married, if you have a baby or if another child comes to live with you.

For further details on what constitutes a change in circumstances, visit the Government website HERE. 

If you or your partner earn more than £50,000 per year, you may find you have to pay back some Child Benefit in the form of tax.

This is known as the Child Benefit tax charge.

To calculate your Child Benefit tax charge, you can use the Government’s tax calculator on the website.

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