Child Benefit warning: Avoid this mistake which would stop your payments entirely

Child Benefit can be claimed by anyone who is responsible for raising a child and there are two rates in place. If a person is claiming for an eldest or only child, they will receive £21.05 per week. Additional children will get £13.95 per week.


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Claimants of this income will need to tell the Child Benefit office about any changes to their family life.

Changes in circumstances could affect the payments themselves and if changes aren’t reported, a person could see their payments reduced.

There is one change which if not reported, the Child Benefit payments could stop entirely.

Claimants must report an address change immediately.

If it is not reported, the claimant faces the risk of the Child Benefit Office being unable to contact them.

The government warns that if the Child Benefit Office cannot contact a claimant, the payments will stop.

There are many changes that need to be reported generally and they can concern the child themselves or the family’s circumstances.

For instance, if the child starts paid work or leaves higher education in their late teenage years it will need to be reported.

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For the family, changes such as bank account movements or relationship situations will need to be reported.

It should be noted that only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, so parents will need to decide who among them will make the claim.

It’s possible for people to claim for other kinds of children they’re raising if they’re not their own.

People can claim for children they’re fostering, adopting or looking after, even if there’s just an informal arrangement in place.


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Usually, a Child Benefit claim can be put through as soon as the child’s birth is registered.

However, this has been altered in recent months due to coronavirus.

It is now possible to claim Child Benefit even if the birth has not been registered.

Initial claims can take up to 12 weeks to process but they can be backdated by up to three months.

Children can also be added to an existing claim and to do this, the claimant will need to call the Child Benefit helpline.

They should call this helpline if:

  • The child is under six months old and lives with them
  • The child was born in the UK and their birth was registered in England, Scotland or Wales more than 24 hours ago
  • The claimant is a UK, EEA or Swiss national and they’ve lived in the UK since the start of the claim.

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