Last updated: 30/03/2022
You can get Child Benefit if you are responsible for a child or qualifying young person.
You can get Child Benefit for each child, or young person, that you are responsible for. That usually means that they live with you and you take care of their day to day needs. You do not have to be their parent.
A child is someone who is under 16 years of age. A qualifying young person is someone between 16 and under 20 in full-time non-advanced, or further, education.
Only one person can get Child Benefit for each child even if you share their care with someone else.
How much is Child Benefit?
There are 2 rates of Child Benefit. One for your first or only child the other for each of your other children.
Child Benefit weekly rates:
First or only child: £21.80
Second and subsequent children: £14.45
Your income and Child Benefit
Child Benefit does not affect other benefits but is taken into account for the benefit cap so counts towards the maximum amount of benefits you can receive.
Child Benefit can affect your income tax. If your income is more than £50,000 p/a you can get child benefit but you will pay more income tax. This is known as the High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge. If you earn more than £60,000 100% of the amount of Child Benefit you receive will be added to your income tax.
You can choose to stop receiving Child Benefit rather than pay extra income tax but getting Child Benefit protects your National Insurance record which affects your pension. Getting Child Benefit also proves you have a child you are responsible for.
If you choose to continue receiving Child Benefit you must register for self-assessment with HM Revenue & Customs and fill in a tax return to declare the Child Benefit.
When does Child Benefit stop?
Child Benefit stops when you are no longer responsible for your child. That can be on 31 August after your child’s 16th birthday, when they are 16 or over and start work of 24 hours per week or more, or when they start Higher Education. However Child Benefit can continue until your child’s 20th birthday if they stay in full-time further education.
For more information see: What happens to Child Benefit when my child is 16+
How to apply for Child Benefit
You should apply for Child Benefit after you register your baby’s birth. If you cannot get an appointment at a registry office before your child is 3 months old, you can apply for Child Benefit before you register your baby’s birth.
Complete form CH2 from HM Revenue & Customs, online or print and return to the address given.
For more information:
Child Benefit Helpline: 0300 200 3100
Textphone: 0300 200 3103 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Scottish Child Payment and Bridging Payments
If you are responsible for a child you may also be entitled to the Scottish Child Payment or Bridging Payment.
The Scottish Child Payment is £20 per week given to eligible families for each child under the age of 6. It will be rolled out to children between the age of 6 and 16 by the end of 2022. Until then the Scottish Government will pay eligible families Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payments.See more information