UK Parents at Risk of Losing £1,000s in Benefits, Urged to Take Action Now


Thousands of parents in the UK are being warned to act immediately or risk losing out on valuable benefit payments. Child benefit, which can provide a significant income boost for families, is at stake for those who fail to take action.

What is Child Benefit?

Child benefit is a payment that parents in the UK can claim to support the upbringing of their children. Currently, the benefit is worth £24 per week for the eldest child or only child, amounting to £1,248 per year. For each subsequent child, parents receive £15.90 per week, or £826.80 per year.

Important Dates to Remember

It's crucial for parents to be aware of the key dates that could affect their child benefit payments. If your child leaves education or training, their payments will automatically stop on August 31 following their 16th birthday. For children aged 16-20 who are due to end education or training after August 31, their payments could stop on one of the following dates:

  • November 30, 2023
  • February 209, 2024
  • May 31, 2024

With the impending August 31 deadline, less than two weeks away, thousands of families may find their child benefit payments cut off unless they take action, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

How to Protect Your Child Benefit

In order to continue receiving child benefit, parents must inform the Child Benefit Office that their child is remaining in education or training. Typically, households receive a letter in their child's final year at school, requesting confirmation of their plans. To be eligible, education must be full-time, consisting of more than an average of 12 hours per week of supervised study or course-related work experience. This can include various educational pathways, such as A-levels, T-levels, Scottish Highers, vocational qualifications up to level 3, and more.

If a child's education or training comes to an end, and they register with their local careers service or sign up to join the armed forces, households may be eligible for an extension of child benefit for up to 20 weeks.

Who Qualifies for Child Benefit?

Parents living in the UK who are responsible for a child under the age of 16 are generally eligible for child benefit. The benefit can also be claimed for a child under 20 if they remain in approved education or training. However, in cases where multiple individuals share caring responsibilities for a child, only one person can claim the benefit. To be considered responsible for a child, you must either live with them or contribute at least the same amount as child benefit towards their care.

How to Apply for Child Benefit

As soon as you have registered the birth of your child or they come to live with you, you can begin the application process for child benefit. It typically takes four months to process a new claim and can be backdated for a maximum of three months. To apply, you'll need to complete a Child Benefit claim form CH2 and send it to the Child Benefit Office.

The address for sending the application is as follows:

Child Benefit Office (GB)
NE88 1ZD

Note that you'll need a postage stamp to send off the application form, which can be purchased from the Post Office.

Income Threshold and Taxation

Parents can still claim child benefit if their annual income exceeds £50,000. However, the High Income Child Benefit Charge will apply, meaning they will be taxed on the amount claimed. Individuals with an income of £60,000 or more will lose all child benefit payments through tax.

Despite the taxation, claiming child benefit can still be financially advantageous. Parents can choose to invest the benefit in a high-interest savings account to earn money before repaying the tax. Additionally, claiming child benefit ensures automatic National Insurance (NI) enrollment and state pension protection.

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