Everything You Should Know About What is child benefit?

Categorized as Kids

Not all parents are capable or are financially sound to take care of their children. Taking care of a child nowadays is highly demanding. From getting them food to clothing to paying for their tuition, the lists are endless. Raising a child as a single parent in the United Kingdom can also be difficult. For this reason, the United Kingdom government gives out child benefits to children that are within the age gap of 0-16years. Children above 26 years who are undergoing formal training and full-time education also benefit from this.

What is child benefit?

Child benefits are free tax benefits in the form of cash paid by the government to anyone who is qualified. This type of benefit comes every 4 weeks with a total of 21.80pounds for the first child and 14.45 pounds for other children per week.

What are the child benefit proofs needed for eligibility?

Child benefits can be claimed at any time, but it is advised to do it as soon as possible, especially immediately after your child is born. To be part of a  benefit, the first thing you need to do is that once you have given birth, register your child’s birth. Once this is achieved, the benefit of your child will be backdated to the date of birth. This is because the government doesn’t want anyone to miss out on these benefits. Documents needed are:

You will need your National Insurance Number as well as that of your spouse. Visit gov.uk if you don’t have one.

Your bank account details, post office details or building society details

Your annual income before tax(average)

Birth certificate of your child/ adoption certificate

If you want to claim for your other children, you will need their child benefit numbers. You can find this in the letter from HMRC.

The international passport of your child, if he/she was born outside of the UK.


How do I claim child benefits in the UK?

There is a claim form that can be downloaded online for a UK child benefit claim. Download and fill out the form and then post it to HMRC ( HM Revenue and Customs). Remember to post with the documents listed above. Make sure you ask for the proof of postage at the post office as you might need it as proof once you are contacted by the HMRC office. Their office might as well contact you if they need further information.

Most times, they will want to confirm or get evidence of support from you especially, if the child you want to claim benefit for is not living with you. For someone with a disability or due to other circumstances couldn’t claim for themselves, you can make a child benefit claim on their behalf.

When do UK child benefits get paid?

The  payment is usually paid into your account every four weeks. As a single parent, you can get paid weekly even if you or your spouse is receiving certain benefits. If it is your first time claiming child benefit, then receiving your first payment may last for about three months. And in case you just moved to the United Kingdom it can be longer than three months.

Once you are eligible for the claim you can get up to three months of extra benefits as your claim will be backdated automatically when receiving the first payment. To get your payment there will be a need to have an office account, bank account, or building society account. For easy calculation of your next payment, you can count four weeks forward from the last payment.

child benefits

In a situation whereby you didn’t get your payment on time, you should call your bank before contacting the child benefit office. The payment may be delayed or stopped due for the following reason.   

  • Failure to update your bank account with the child benefit office or inform them regarding the education of your child after the age of 16.
  • Not eligible to receive child benefits again.
  • Failure to respond to the letter from the child benefit office.
  • Your child is no longer living with you.

So to prevent delay or stoppage of your  payment then you should note the reasons listed above. 

Universal credit child benefit

In case you are wondering if you receive universal credit and child benefits the answer is yes. Universal credit does not replace children though it replaces other benefits like housing benefits and jobseekers allowance.

The only thing to note is that your benefits will be included in your benefit capital which will affect the total amount of benefit someone can receive. The amount you earn, the number of children you have, and your circumstances will determine how much universal credit you will receive.

Child benefits over 50k

In a situation whereby you or your spouse’s income is more than £50,000 and one of you gets child benefits, you may be asked to pay a tax charge. If your income is more than 50k and you are already receiving child benefits you can choose to continue getting it and keep paying tax charges. Or you can stop receiving benefits without paying the tax charge also referred to as the high-income child benefit charge. You can still fill out the benefit claim form if you don’t want to receive child benefits and state that you don’t want to receive payment in the form.


The main purpose of introducing child’s benefit in the UK was to support parents in raising their children. Raising a child nowadays can be highly demanding but the introduction of child benefits has helped a lot of parents out there, thereby relieving them of their burdens.

If you want to benefit from this, we have laid out various documents needed to claim these benefits. If these documents are not available, you need to make them ready because, without them, you won’t be able to get or claim your child’s benefit. Also, this payment is made every week to everyone eligible. 

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