[box type=”info”]From April 2011 – Child Benefit will be frozen for three years, at £20.30 for a first or only child and £13.40 for each other child.[/box]
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.
[box type=”info”] When claiming benefits it’s a good idea to: Take copies of completed claim forms and letters before you send them off. Keep a record of the date, time and the person you spoke to if you contact them in person or by phone. If you think they have made a mistake in working out your claim its worth getting advice from CAB. Don’t assume just because they are a government agency doesn’t mean they always get it right or that you can’t appeal the decision. [/box]