Child benefit claimants will see an increase to payments from next month, alongside increases to a number of state payments, including Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The payment is made to parents or guardians who are responsible for raising a child under the age of 16, or a young person under 20 who is in full-time education or on certain approved training courses.
The benefit is paid once a month to parents and on a weekly basis to single parents, or anyone who is not being supported by other schemes, such as Income Support.
Here’s what you need to know about the new rates, when the increase will take effect and how to check if you are eligible to claim.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) confirmed the new Child Benefits payments will come into force from 11 April 2022.
Child Benefit is usually paid every four weeks on a Monday or Tuesday.
There are currently two Child Benefit rates for claimants.
The first is £21.15 per week for the eldest child, and the second is £14 per week for any additional children.
This means claimants receive £84.60 per month for one child, or just over £1,000 per year.
Benefits for additional children amount to £56.00 per month, or just over £700 per year.
From April, these weekly payments will increase to the following rates:
– Eldest or only child – £21.80
– Additional children – £14.45
The new rates mark an increase of 65p and 45p respectively per week.
This means that the monthly payment for an eldest or only child will be £87.20, while the additional children monthly payment will be £57.80.
Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child and you will normally qualify if you are responsible for a child under the age of 16, or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training, and you live in the UK.
You are considered responsible for a child if you live with them or you are paying at least the same amount as Child Benefit (or the equivalent in kind) towards looking after them, such as on food, clothes or pocket money.
Child Benefit continues for 20 weeks if 16 or 17 year olds leave education or training and register with the armed services or a government-sponsored careers service.
You can claim Child Benefit as soon as you have registered the birth of your child, or they come to live with you.
Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child, so parents need to decide between them who should claim. The person who claims will get National Insurance credits towards their state pension if they are not working or earn less than £184 per week.
To apply you need to complete a Child Benefit claim form on the government website and send it to the Child Benefit Office. The address is on the form.
If you need to add a child to an existing claim, you can call the Child Benefit helpline if all of the following apply:
– your child is under six months old and lives with you
– your child was born in the UK
– your child’s birth was registered in England, Scotland or Wales more than 24 hours ago
– you are a UK or Irish national and you have lived in the UK since the start of your claim
When you call, you will need your National Insurance number and your child’s birth certificate, if you have registered the birth.
The number for the helpline is 0300 200 3100.