You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you live in the UK and have children aged 16 and under or 20 and under and they are in certain types of education or training.
The only way to claim this benefit is to fill in a Child Benefit claim form and send it to the Child Benefit Office along with your child’s birth or adoption certificate. It cannot be claimed over the phone or via the internet. The claim form is supplied with the Bounty Pack that’s given to new mothers in hospital or is available to print off online. (You will still need to send the completed for to the Child Benefit Office)
You get a higher rate for your eldest child or only child, then a lower rate for additional children.
Current rates until April 2010 are:
- Eldest or only child £20.00 weekly
- Additional children £13.20 weekly
April 2010-02-06 :
- Eldest or only child £20.30 weekly
- Additional children £13.40 weekly
There is normally a small increase each April but letters are sent out before hand to notify you.
Child Benefit can be paid direct into a bank account every 4 weeks, you can request for it to be paid weekly if you are on income support, income-based jobseekers allowance, income related employment and support allowances or if you are a single parent.
Claiming child benefit can also protect your State Pension entitlement. You can read more about this at the Direct Gov web site.