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Child Benefit - do you qualify?

Changes have been made so check here to see if you and your family are still entitled to receive Child Benefit payments.


Who is eligible?

You may be able to get Child Benefit if your child is:

  • aged under 16
  • over 16 but under 20 - and is in education or training that counts for Child Benefit
  • under 18 and has recently left education or training - but they must have registered for work, education or training with a careers service or local authority support services.

If your child doesn't live with you

Normally, your child has to live with you if you claim Child Benefit. However, you may still qualify if your child lives with someone else, is in care or in hospital including getting medical treatment abroad. You could still get it, particularly if you are contributing to your child's upkeep generally.

If you live abroad

If you live or work abroad, you may still qualify for UK Child Benefit, or - more importantly - you might get the child allowance of the country where you live or work.

If you or your partner earns more than £50,000 a year

If you or your partner have an individual income of more than £50,000, you can still qualify for Child Benefit. But you'll need to decide whether to actually receive the payments. This is because you may be liable to a tax charge called the 'High Income Child Benefit charge'.

It's important to still fill in a Child Benefit claim form, even if you don't want to get the payments. This is because if you are entitled to receive Child Benefit it can:

  • help you qualify for National Insurance credits that can protect your entitlement to State Pension
  • help protect your entitlement to other benefits such as Guardian's Allowance
  • ensure your child is automatically issued with a National Insurance number before their 16th birthday

What is the High Income Benefit Charge?

You will need to choose to do one of the following:

  • keep receiving Child Benefit payments - but if you do you will need to declare the amount you or your partner are entitled to by filling in a tax return each year and registering for Self Assessment if you haven't done so already
  • tell the Child Benefit Office that you want to stop receiving Child Benefit payments - in which case you won't be liable for the new tax charge and won't need to fill in a tax return (unless you need to for other reasons)

For further information on Child Benefit and the High Income Benefit Charge click here.

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