For the first time in the 47 years since Child Benefit was launched, new parents can claim their Child Benefit online in a significantly faster way than the previous process allowed, according to HMRC. The previous method – which had been in place since 1977 – was to fill in a paper form which had to be posted, and then you could wait as long as 16 weeks for the first payment.
Now, instead, there is a “quick and easy” claims process on GOV.UK which takes as little as 10 minutes to fill in, and payment can be made in as little as three days.
Child Benefit is worth £24 per week (£1,248 per year) for the oldest or only child, and £15.90 (£827 per year) for each additional child. Claims can be backdated by up to 12 weeks, so parents are being urged to act now so they don’t miss out.
National Insurance Credits will be applied automatically
Any parent that claims Child Benefit will automatically get National Insurance Credits applied to their State Pension. This credit ensures that for the time you are out of work while bringing up your family, a completed year is added to your National Insurance record, so you have a better chance of reaching a full State Pension entitlement when the time comes.
There is no limit to the number of children Child Benefit can be claimed for, and it will be paid to those responsible for bringing up a child under 16, or under 20 if they remain in approved education or training.
HMRC states on Gov.uk: “Education must be full-time (more than an average of 12 hours a week supervised study or course-related work experience) and can include:
- A levels or similar, for example Pre-U, International Baccalaureate
- T levels
- Scottish Highers
- NVQs and most vocational qualifications up to level 3– not including advanced apprenticeships
- home education – if it started before your child turned 16 or after 16 if they have special needs
- traineeships in England
“Your child must be accepted onto the course before they turn 19.”
You can tell HMRC that your child is staying in approved education or training using the CH297 online form. To apply online, you will need a Government Gateway account, a passport and other proofs of ID. HMRC will then send you an activation code on email, which you can use to apply for Child Benefit online.
Let us help you
If you need any help with accessing Child Benefit, or you want to make sure you are claiming any additional benefits that you are eligible for, then please get in touch and we will be happy to offer you the help and guidance you need.